image courtesy of GM's Corner
It's been a weird couple of days. I've noticed the people around me getting gradually more irritating. Not specific ones - but all of them, in unison, as if orchestrated to do so. Nevertheless, I plodded on. Then I started getting grouchy. It's understandable, of course, with all these people acting the way they do...but it was wearing on me.
At various intervals over the years I have gone through what I have called a funk. Unless you were a part of our family, you probably wouldn't have noticed. I kept up appearances (or convinced myself that I thought I did) and did my job. It has happened a half dozen times, perhaps more. Depression is too strong of a word - besides, that happens to other people - but definetly a cyclical pattern of less than my best of times. Last night I admitted to Kelsey and myself that I felt I was a few feet down that slippery slope...maybe a few trips down the glacier have given me the insight to see it happening.
There is a world of difference between identifying a weak area and actually fortifying that area against attack. This morning, I found myself reliving a conversation I'd had recently in which I felt that I hadn't been respected. Suddenly the Lord broke in with a question: "Is this person fairly characterized by how you are perceiving their thoughts of you right now?" I had to admit that, no, this person could not be fairly characterized by my admittedly flawed perceptions of one event. In fact, what the court calls the proponderance of evidence would weigh heavily on the other side - that this person is supportive of me in the worst of times. They have blessed me time and again, yet I was looking past that to see what I thought I saw. The Lord said "Step back. Live in the blessing."
My struggle is internal, not external. The ubiquitous they are not the problem. It is me and how I see things. It is how I feel God feels about me. I found my self reading Song of Solomon, that love song of all the ages, this morning. In language that makes he-men like myself highly uncomfortable to be blogging about, the song records the intimacy of a bride with her lover - the tenderness we are offered in loving Christ.
Chapter 1, verse 16 uses a funny little phrase - referring to the bed of consumation as verdant. Some versions say green. The word has a double meeting - carpeted like a forest, or inexperienced. I'm going with the second meaning. God, I'm new at this. I'm not good at loving you or knowing how to be loved. But my heart's cry is to learn.
All that is not to generate any sort of sympathy, but rather to lay down the gauntlet for myself. I will live in the blessing I have heard, seen and felt from God and others. And I will get better at this thing. In it is my life and salvation.