Opportunity is Not a Lengthy Visitor

**EDIT** I might add that this blog went NO where that I intended it to, but I'm leaving it be **

That's a quote from my favorite musical of all time, "Into the Woods" by Stephen Sondheim. It's not at all coincidental that it's my favorite musical. It takes all the fairy tales that you and I grew up on - Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack & The Beanstalk etc - melds them all together and skewers them into fracture. Moral of the story - Life sucks sometimes, and fairy tales are just moments in stories that are left unfinished. The reality and humor of Into the Woods is daunting for a lot of people who want to believe in glitter and rainbows and magic carpets and all that. I believed in fairy tales once. I believed in princes and happily ever afters and all of that. Monsters ate those dreams. Then I believed in them again. And lo and behold...along came another nightmare to life for me.

Pretty soon, if not already, I'm fairly sure my friends are going to loathe being around me. So far, only one of my friends has remained encouraging and not pitied me. I hate pity and I feel pitied, pathetic and that hurts more. Which of course, leads to more tears and more issues. Maybe it's the reaction to feeling pitied that made me hard years ago. Because it's what's making me want to lock up my feelings and tell people "screw it, I won't tell you how sad I am anymore." But really, I'm learning to be sad.

And sad doesn't mean I'm devoid of joy. It doesn't mean I'm wallowing. It just means I'm sad.

Yesterday, the grief I have was doubled over and heaped onto as I attended a funeral for a two month old. It was gloomy, rainy and sad. The family is Orthodox and that's a whole other animal in terms of belief and I know they don't have a relationship with Christ which broke my poor heart for the mom and dad. What a sad and tragic thing indeed.

I stood by the grave, looking around me at the grief-stricken family and friends and just internally had a conversation with God about how unknowable and confusing things like this are. I told him I didn't understand Him - and I know I never will - and I told him I just was overwhelmed with this load of sorrow lately. And it's not sorrow just for me, although I am sad, and I miss my friend. But Everywhere I look, there seems to be more ugliness, more grief, more horribleness than I can fathom and it is crashing in on me over and over.

This is what I get for being softer than I've ever been. It's a bit like being in a vast fog of grief and sadness and not seeing anything but that, no clearing of sunshine and no real ability to wade through it. And then the triteness of people comes along and tells you "Just give it to God." or Something else that rings of platitudes and easy answers.

Instead, I wrestle. And I hunger for truth that goes deeper than "God doesn't owe you an answer" - because while that's true...He loves me and I can't believe that He is enjoying my sadness and undoing. Thankfully, He's already in the future and I've got to believe that He's there with something a helluva a lot better than what today is. Because if I have to think of the endless days like this...I'm quickly going to drown. And so, I am going to continue to wrestle. And I'm going to love Him anyway. I'm going to keep running at Him hard and go "I don't get it" but I'm going to trust Him anyway.

"I Love you, O Gentlest of Ways who ripened us as we wrestled with You" - Rilke


  1. This song really was laid on my heart a few weeks ago. I was thinking of it when reading this post:

    HARD TO GET--By Rich Mullins

    You who live in heaven
    Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth
    Who are afraid of being left by those we love
    And who get hardened by the hurt
    Do you remember when You lived down here
    Where we all scrape To find the faith to ask for daily bread
    Did You forget about us after You had flown away
    Well I memorized every word You said
    Still I'm so scared, I'm holding my breath
    While You're up there just playing hard to get

    You who live in radiance
    Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin
    We have a love that's not as patient as Yours was
    Still we do love now and then
    Did You ever know loneliness
    Did You ever know need
    Do You remember just how long a night can get?
    When You were barely holding on
    And Your friends fall asleep
    And don't see the blood that's running in Your sweat
    Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
    While You're up there just playing hard to get?
    And I know you bore our sorrows
    And I know you feel our pain
    And I know it would not hurt any less
    Even if it could be explained
    And I know that I am only lashing out
    At the One who loves me most
    And after I figured this, somehow
    All I really need to know

    Is if You who live in eternity
    Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
    We can't see what's ahead
    And we can not get free of what we've left behind
    I'm reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
    All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret
    I can't see how You're leading me unless You've led me here
    Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led
    And so You've been here all along I guess
    It's just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get


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