Psychological suffering is hard. It is painful, confusing, exhausting, and (here’s the kicker), somewhat of an indulgence. At this time in American history, we are under constant psychological attack; from future uncertainty, nonsensical oppression, glaring deceit, a gaping lack of justice, and a plethora of swamp suckers – those people around us believing so many lies without a moment’s critical thought, championing foolish and harmful actions, and snapping like little angry mongrels at anyone who does not adhere to their hypnosis; truly a bog of despair to be navigated by those without muddied faculties. Such violent attacks of lunacy and degeneracy onto the collective human mind and heart are overwhelming and disorienting to the spirit. Wars of the flesh are outdated and messy; now evil and its cohorts kill from the inside out.
I could offer many examples of this terrible and willful disavowal on many different battlefronts, as could you. We witness spiritual suicide by those in the trenches with us, those that we love and those that we desperately need to fight with us.
This makes me angry. I want to not care. I want to curse all the willfully blind people and their destructive perversions and disgusting cowardices. I want to unblind them, make them see what I see. Make them recognize the hell they’ve endorsed and helped create, a rotting and burning thing. But without me in it.
Perhaps we are currently living through Dante’s inferno, walking through the spheres of hell, as we fight our way toward heaven. One can only hope.
But once all the anger and cursing and hot air is spent…well, then I am left with myself. And my God, and my family, and my dogs, and all the little things in my life that I love.
With these good and lovely things called to mind, I often think of this quote by CS Lewis: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you get neither.”
The psychological suffering of the mad circus we are living through, is providing me with ample evidence that my aim is off. Perhaps I need to line my sights to the target instead of shooting at the dark. Perhaps, in that dark, I sense the worst of humanity’s sloth, stupidity, greed, and corruption. Perhaps, in that darkness, I sense that, in another time or space or circumstance, I could be (or have been) guilty of these same things, which I hate in others.
It is that terrible squirming truth that I do not want to look at, so I hate and blame the other, desperately clinging to the hope that I cannot be so bad as I fear I might be. I also discover, that while we are paradoxically all in this together, in the end each man will only ever be able to save himself, and God will know the truth in each man’s heart.
Mirror mirror on the wall
Who is the foulest of them all?
Shall I be saved or shall I fall?
It is an age-old reactionary tale. Adam blames Eve, Eve blames the serpent, and we blame all three of them. We also blame the fallen angels, and all the other people who’ve I’ve taken ample aim at above for my own hot-air-target practice. Angry proclamations of blame, while the planks in our eyes limit our vision, and the supernatural war of good and evil rages around us. We can feel so small and handicapped.
The power of world governments and financial institutions, the logistics of foodstuffs and electricity power grids, the undisclosed effects of experimental injections, the hidden hands and shadow networks, all these ‘powers’ are far bigger than us, and we find ourselves humbled right down to our dusty bones. Inside this arena, we don’t really seem to matter. This leads us, not only to a certain material hopelessness about our future in the arena, but to a deeper despair about our purpose. What is our purpose, if we don’t seem to matter? The profound sadness contained here is inexpressible. For we all want to matter, we want to do things that matter, and lately, it is hard to find something to do that feels like it matters.
In this world of matter, mattering seems to be of utmost importance. At least, to the self. But, perhaps mattering does not matter, when one shifts her orientation from self to God. Perhaps it is enough, and all we can ever do, to listen (actively) and obey our Father. He offers us the map to wisdom, contentment, and ultimately, salvation. He offers us everything that actually matters.
There is an unexpected freedom in relinquishing our own mattering, our own ideas of purpose. Here we find ourselves, peeled back by psychological suffering to our raw and pulpy insides, finally realizing that we don’t want to do things this way anymore, bloated with our lurking fears and secret desires and hidden self righteousness. We don’t want it anymore. We just want to give it all to Him. We just want to be clean.
When one takes her proper station, relinquishing any illusion of significance outside her service to God, she can take her very first deep breath in lungs unburdened by pride. She is free to be directed by her Father. And she finds she is contented and in love. And those around her, those she loves, those in the trenches, those blinded by planks or swamp mud or whatever, they will feel it too. It is an unstoppable, irresistible force. It is Goodness, and it lives in everything she touches. It is wise and brave and thoughtful and humorous, full of good cheer and optimism.
It is reading a very wonderful book to your children, or playing legos on the floor.
It is a healthy meal and cheerful conversation around the dinner table.
It is caring for your parents.
It is eye contact and smiling and greeting, even with a mask on.
It is singing along to good music while cleaning the home.
It is diligently completing tasks in good humor.
It is big prayers to the big guy upstairs, throughout the day.
It is teaching the ones you love about the hope you have in Him.
It is allowing His inner convictions to humble and strengthen and change you.
It is the humility to mind your business, the courage to speak up, and the wisdom to know when to do each.
Suffering removes the burdens of the self, empties our inner vessels, allows the Holy Spirit to pour in and start directing our inner affairs. Take your hits my friend, and I will take mine. Humility, patience, endurance, wisdom, and a Love so big I can hardly touch it or even think on it.
Down down down, to our dusty old bones. “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” But, how many specks of dust ever get to freely serve the Creator of all things? To actively bring about the completion of his glorious master plan in the fullness of time?
If I am to be dust, then dust I shall be, but magical fairy dust. Poof. God wins.