Saturday, December 23, 2006

I have been sitting on the couch with tears streaming down my cheeks for a while now. I am tired. I still feel absolutely awful about running over D's mailbox. I am drowning in debt. I see no hope for a job. I am lonely. I am grieving the loss of the relationship with my mother, but I see no hope for change their either because she believes me to be an abuser. I want to be loved. I want to be accepted. I want to belong. I want to contribute. I want to give back. Yet...all I can do is help a few people with home improvement projects. I am a lousy beacon for Christ.

I have been awash in sorrow and pain since I awoke. I have been praying for the lesson in this, thinking that I just must be oh so dense. If God is sovereign--which I believe Him to be--then He is sovereign in unemployment. It is hard, however, to remember that when thinking on the debt that is piling up and the mortgage payments looming and the increase in health insurance premiums just announced and...and...and everything.

I have been sitting here trying to find some balance when someone knocked at the door. It was a mailman with a package from my dear friend T. I signed for it, but he wasn't done with me.

He asked me where her city was and I replied that I think it is near Altoona because she talks about that exit on the highway. He then said his brother's son when to college at Penn State and talked all about that area. I told him that I didn't really know where she lived, but that she was an ex-student of mine. He wanted to know what I taught. I told him I was no longer a teacher, but I that I used to teach literacy. He was immediately awed that I could write, could master the English language because knowing how to communicate was so important in our society. I replied that while some say it is, in reality, it is not. Books and newspapers are published with mistakes. My company hired me to be their voice and then fired me just when they needed a spokesperson most. Emails and press releases and letters are sent with horrible misuse of the English language...and NOBODY CARES. I care, but that does not matter. I care about what does not matter and have no job and no prospects of finding a place where what I am skilled at is desired. He asked me where I went to school. I told him first Baylor, then I was a missionary in Africa, then UNC at Chapel Hill, then The Ohio State University. He was awed again that I had lived in Africa, what I had most assuredly seen. How brave I was for going and caring. I replied that no one cared when I got back. I left a war zone. The people I had been working with and cared about were dying and no one cared once I came back. I told him that while I know Katrina was awful, Turkey has an earthquake where 100,000 people die and no one cares. He replied that the same was true in India. But, he said, God was going to bless me. I replied that while I knew God was sovereign, it was a battle for me to understand why unemployment would be the right course for me after six month, why when working so hard to be a good steward and become debt free, that I would find myself mired in debt, why when I did care about literacy, there was no place for me, why I couldn't even find a church or a place to be around other Christians who actually enjoyed studying the bible and praying and memorizing scripture rather than reading and teaching and praising the latest Christian "how-to" band wagon...promise keepers, prayer of Jabez, purpose-driven life. He agreed that the hunger for Christ seemed to be subsumed by the hunger for a "good" or "successful" life in the church around here. But...But...

But...he finished by absolute conviction that even I could see through my tears...that God was going to bless me. He was going to bless me the way that he had been blessed this day by getting out of the post office and delivering a package that had been discovered fallen behind a bench and had not made it out on the truck. He was blessed by me and knew I would soon be too.

I walked back inside, sobored by the reminder that God knows my tears...

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