Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Issue #721

Right now, I need Explosions in the Sky. I need it on full blast and I need to be articulate. If I'm not, I think something very bad might get stuck in my soul. Not that I'm superstitious... souls don't work that way. My soul has been freely surrendered to Christ, but in the past few days, my freely captive soul has experienced upheaval. Questions, new struggles I previously called foreign, some trauma, a lack of outlet, "outlet" in the strangest of places, really good friendship, really hard long-distance pains (kinda like homesickness).

And I'm sorry, but unless you know me, this post won't feel very articulate or satisfying to you. But I need it articulated for me. Something...not life-changing, not devastating, but real and hard happened and from it has come a real lostness. Physical is never just physical. There's a reason we were created the way we were, with our hearts so closely connected (physiologically and emotionally) to our brains. Nothing physical goes unnoticed by the circuits of emotion running through our bodies. Nothing ordinarily painful get passed up by our spirits... they (our physical bodies, emotions, souls) are like little old ladies at the back of a Mid-Western Baptist church gossiping up a storm about YOU.

"Ok ladies, what does this mean? How is Christine? What does this situation do to her here? How will it affect that relationship there? Long term? What kind of a memory will this become? Let's work together now."

Last night, in feeling very alone, yet knowing only Christ could be perfectly what I so wanted someone else to be for me (and with my blessed professor's voice in my head, saying, "Don't look to others to fill what only Christ can. It's disappointing.")... with all that going on, I took a drive. Not a long drive up a mountain, though I was craving such an adventure. Nope, just a drive down an average street. I wanted to loose myself. I wanted to blast music (not Explosions that time; different mood), forget physical pain, be alone, and blow off steam like a man. It wasn't until I started driving that I realized I was angry. Deeply angry. Angry and disappointed with people. Angry with the way society works. Angry with... myself, perhaps.

And you know what? Anger is a downright ok feeling. It can be really productive.

But loneliness is not an ok feeling. Almost everyone knows what it's like to be in a crowded room, yet to feel all alone. You might not think so, but I think many, especially extroverts (yes), have actually been there. And as an introvert myself ("the lonely place" kind of person), I'm telling you that loneliness is not ok because it shouldn't be real. I think that's the difference between anger and loneliness. Anger should be real... there are things that make everyone angry. The world is a fallen place which necessitates real anger from any thinking person. Loneliness shouldn't be real. The presence of Christ, for a Christian, should always satisfy, but it does not always work that way... and there is the dissonance that drives me crazy.

However, my crazy head and longing heart are rooted deeply in truth, due to Jesus' extreme mercy. And that's why in situations like "this", ha... I can cry out to him. I say (with but an ounce of emotion backing up the sentiment of my words), "Lord fill in the gaps. Be everything I'm craving and needing right now. Satisfy everywhere." And he hears and he answers and sometimes I don't know how. But that same crazy head and longing heart are "sane-ized" and comforted and it becomes ok. He will never let me go, nor will he let me stand next to a challenge too big for my own dealing.

This is not meant to be a neat ending to a confusing and embarrassing problem, but it looks like that's maybe what's happening. I'm becoming more and more ok with messy interludes. My best friend, closure, is getting the cold shoulder oftener these days.

But alas, Christ is all. He came in and comes in and will keep coming every night until this is over... and he fills all my stupid gaps. Hallelujah.

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