Estimated reading time: 4 minutes:-)
July 28, 2020
“You were made for such a time as this.”
For these burning fires?
These fearful faces
And arguments in the kitchen?
I don’t know what to say to the families that lost their children
To the parents who didn’t die first.
They say I’m hand-picked by God
For days like these
But I can barely slog through the confusion and chaos
How can I lead your people, God?
I’m a sheep, just like they.
What do I say to the angry people
Who yell at me in department stores
For making them wear a mask
I just work here.
What do I say to my heroes,
When I don’t feel like I am enough
When I feel like I fall short
But I can’t be vulnerable.
I can’t show them I am weak
I am supposed to lead.
I feel such a weight on my shoulders to perform
To speak truth into blackness
And calm crying children
And clean my bathroom
And drive brothers to practice
And the standard can’t be reached.
I can feel my breath tighten
Like a mouse trap
A gut feeling that snaps me into fear.
What are you doing God?
All the world around me screams for my pity for my attention for my action
What do I do?
On nights when I’m exhausted I surf Instagram and see
When will it end?
And what can I say when I feel like only a spectator, chained to my sheltered life, hiding behind windows and peering through at the chaos that reeks havoc around me?
I wish I felt devastated.
But instead, a feeling of tumultuous confusion assaults me.
A feeling of guilt, guilt for not understanding. Not empathizing.
Sympathy is not empathy.
How can we live in this?
Two days ago, I sat in our break room eating a tortilla with some ham and cream cheese because mom hadn’t gotten groceries yet and I was alone. There was only one chair in the Colorado store and I sat in it. It swiveled. The naked bulb that hangs twenty feet up flickered for a moment, then stilled. The compressor that prints shirts hummed. I can still see the room–boxes towering around me on industrial shelves, marked with CR for Castle Rock and Suit 920. And I saw racks of hoodies piled in the middle, a small circle table in front of me. A trash bag holding the rest of my lunch. I have 17 minutes left. The mini fridge on the opposite wall feigned humor with home-made magnets my coworkers constructed in their many dull hours. A coffee maker sat erect beside it, an old landline shackled to an outlet below. Everything smelled like cotton and dust and Windex and peanuts maybe. And in my chair I sat, eating, scrolling through my phone as if the world is the way it should be. And then a face drifted across my screen; bright colors and advertisements and outfits and beautiful women and friends are interrupted by a face, faded, eerie. An acquaintance. “_____ passed away last night at 2:34 P.M….”
How can we live in this?
We live in challenging times. I wrote this journal entry not long ago, and I am still challenged to this day. It is difficult realizing YOU were made for such a time, a time of chaos and deception and havoc.
But God knows what he’s doing.
Psalm 49:14-15 – “They are like sheep and are destined to die. . . . But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.”
Psalm 73:26 – “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 86:15 – “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”