For the last couple months or so, I've allowed worry and frustration of some very real threats to undermine my spiritual core. For consumerists to find peace, they shop. For Christians, we focus in on God through the three-in-one. The God-with-us person of Jesus. The amazing grace of the Father. The comforting Spirit of peace blowing through us like a restless wind.
I've neglected to trust in the God who dresses the lillies of the valley. But that God doesn't neglect me.
I've allowed the fact of the wickedness of the world - this same world that crushes souls and turns most of us into automatons for the relentless raping machine that is the capitalist system - to temporarily overtake my own joy.
It is darkest before dawn.
Trust me when I say this: there are many reasons to feel overwhelmed right now.
I had to take a day off from my low-paying/no-benefits job. Which means I will make even less money than I am currently. Which, to be frank, doesn't even cover the rent.
My joy comes in the morning.
I have been sitting in the ER room of the local public hospital because I no longer have insurance. Along with a growing number of working class, self-employed Americans, I can not afford basic health insurance in an economic system that perpetually marginalizes the working class and the middle class for the benefit of short-sighted greed. In a time when more and more people need state and federal assistance, we are turned away and herded from increasingly shrinking resource to smaller, less adequate resource by the minute.
Funds were cut from our state insurance.
We're behind on many of our bills, even though we live bare-bones. We never buy frivolous or lavish equipment. In fact, we haven't owned a TV since we got rid of the space-taker donated to us, and we have no desire to, either. And I don't brag to say we walk or take public transport everywhere we go. It's partially as a convenience, partly as an ethos, but sometimes a large pain in the butt
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the substance of things unseen.
Joss is sick again. And that's freaking scary. She has lung disease.
I look to the hills...
I've been battling depression and trying to start some extra work on the side, but I always feel so overwhelmed and exhausted...
I look to the hills. From where does my help come? It comes from the Lord.
This is an ancient psalm that we used to sing in one of my churhes. I learned in this same church that the hills were the High Places, where contemporaries of this psalmist went to worship false idols.
- Fleeting relations.
- Greedy lusts.
- Sexuality divorced from meaning.
The Israelites would flirt with these flash-in-the-pan gods, trading in joy and love for happiness** and gratification.
I sometimes look to those hills as well.
- Wall St.
- Madison Ave.
- The Magnificent Mile.
- Best Buy.
But my help,
my center comes from the Lord.
*Full disclaimer/warning: Although I never hide the fact that I'm a Christian, I do try to make this blog as inclusive as possible. But this is an exorcism of sorts that I just need to air. I do not mean to offend, but I do understand that anytime any religion, let alone Christianity, is brought up - esp in exclusivest language - traumatic memories are brought to light. Be assured that this isn't a post to convert anyone or to compare gods/faith systems/lack thereof. Please keep this in mind if you do read this article.
**The Beatles said happiness is a warm gun. But I prefer Dylan's less-post-ejaculation/more-cryptic take on it: Happy is a yuppie word