Thursday, September 18, 2008

soft bodies/hard world

In the last several months many people I love have been hospitalized from various traumas or illnesses or other kinds of even darker suffering. A couple of weeks ago my little brother was playing an innocent little game of softball and ended up with a fractured skull and a broken face. Soft-ball. The irony of that didn't slip by me. The last week has been especially hard.

We are soft bodies moving through a world of jagged edges...infants in a nursery lined with broken glass. One little misstep, and you're falling off a cliff onto the rocks below. I've talked about this before. It's nothing new for me to be thinking about these things. But it's feeling heavy to me again, so I'm sharing it here. So many things around me are painful these days, and I'm tired.

It's not only the physical suffering that is getting to me. I'm in the middle of some intense interpersonal conflict, and I think that exacts a heavier toll than other kinds of crises. Sometimes I think my emotional skin has worn thin over time. It's like an old woman's transparent, paper-mache skin tearing open with every bump, fine veins clearly visible and easily exposed.

I know I've been especially absent these last many months. I hope all of you understand. I've even considered deleting this blog...vaporizing like a puff of smoke. I'm struggling to be present in ways that make sense, and I'm unclear about the role that blogging should play in my life. I know that I have benefited in surprising ways from the kindness of so many of you whom I've never even met. But I've felt unable to keep up with the interactions, and that's created a new responsibility (and guilt) that I don't know how to handle. It's also created a new level of "public-ness" that is a little disorienting to me.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I felt like it was time to say some of it out loud. I'm launching a new initiative in my ministry tonight (Monday). I wonder if I'm ready. I'm afraid of what it will require of me. I'm excited about the possibilities. I'm resisting the urge to bury myself under my covers and never come out. I'm trusting that God is real. I'm reaching out to him.