Every once in a while I come across a song and I think, I kinda' wish I'd written that one. Ha ha oh well. Not that often really, but there is one band where I've experienced that thought a number of times, maybe that's why they're my favorite band, Jars of Clay, poetry, everything in the right place, beautiful inside and out Jars of Clay. Love those guys. Anyway, enough of that gushy stuff, but in reflecting on my own life in the last number of years, a few of their songs come to mind, and probably express some of my emotions better than I can myself.
If you've ever struggled with depression or anxiety as I have, and you know that place, where you're in the dark, and it feels like that darkness will never end, and you know what it's like to cry out to God, and it feels like He's nowhere to be found... been there? So have I, and my own thoughts at that time, in getting frustrated and wondering "where are you," turns to "where are you!" And it just seems like God has left the building. And I don't have any simple answers to the things that people struggle with, some things I would understand, abuse, family break down, because I've been there myself, and some things I really wouldn't understand, war, extreme poverty, because I'm fortunate to live in the western world. But maybe I'd just like to say that if you're in that place, and maybe recent discussions on bullying have brought this to my mind, and having the perspective of added years, to some of the stuff I went through when I was younger. I always clung to my faith, and time gave me understanding. Someone I know used to say that "The Lord's mill grinds slow but it grinds fine." When I was able to look back years later, I could see God's hand working in my life, even though I didn't see it at the time. And the funny thing is, looking back, that some of the greatest answers to prayer, were the days that it felt like a door had just been slammed in my face.
I'll tell you one of those stories, just so I'm not being too vague here. It was shortly after the death of my father, and I had just left home under really lousy circumstances, and I was working at Tim Horton's. Had to get up, to get the coffee drinkers up, imagine me getting up to get the coffee drinkers up haha. Anyway, I had worked at McDonald's for almost five years to put myself through school, imagine that, let me just say that fast food work is not for the very thoughtful ha ha. I was always one more screw up away from getting fired haha, and finally I did, from Tim Horton's though, after I'd gone there for a full-time job after completing my degree, sad as that is. And then I got fired, knowing I couldn't go home, knowing I would soon have nowhere to go, twenty one years old, and I remember walking outside starting down the street feeling so alone and seeing a loonie in the slush and picking it up...a short time after that, I had coffee with a friend and she asked me if I had any interest in working with people with mental disabilities, and I've been doing that ever since. And it's taught me a lot.
I really feel for young kids growing up today. I think in some ways it's getting easier, there seems to be more awareness of different issues than when I was a kid. In some ways I think it's getting harder though, because even though there's more awareness, in another way there's more pressures, so many messages, often sophisticated subliminal messaging, and an underlying current of anything goes...so how does a young kid make sense of all that? I don't know. How do we as a society continue with a fabric that seems to be tearing in all directions...
But I don't like to end on a sad note, I'd just like to say that for me personally, my faith has always brought me through in the end. It's been challenged, it's been stretched, but it's seen me through a lot of uncertainties, and looking back, that hand was always there, turning the silence into something beautiful.
thanks for listening,
Here are those songs for your listening enjoyment: