Cross swinging from a chain? Sitting in church every Sunday? Giving to the church? Teaching Sunday School? What makes a Christian? As if that matters anymore. The world has written us off as elitist, racist, oppressive, unwelcoming, manipulative, money grabbing, ignorant, delusional…the list goes on. When will we realize that inside we are all the same? Mexican, Russian or African; Christian, Muslim or Jew. Or whatever. We all want to be safe, secure and part of a loving community. Maybe we need to do away with religion so we can concentrate on the spiritual. Love is the common bond for all of us.
Coasting comfortably on the caress of clouds.
Reaching for meaning in every breath.
Thinking of the crowd of witnesses,
Their tender hands outstretched with love.
Is there truth that surpasses understanding?
Is there hope amidst these evil days?
I count the steps to reach your door,
Yearning for rest, bidding to journey no more.
Only a promise from the precious few
Can treat the soreness of a broken soul.
Come, join the chorus, summoning grace
From the bright heavens above.
Today I contemplated suicide for a little while. I thought how easy it would be to overdose on all the pills I have. Knowing me, I’d probably just get really sick. But it seems so easy and overdosing seems on first impression like a pretty painless way to go. It’s funny because I like my life right now, for the most part. Sure, I still get uncomfortable sometimes, but overall I think I’m in a pretty good place. I guess it’s because I watched a movie this weekend that showed it very subtly and made it almost matter of fact. Nothing gruesome, no blood, just a quick ending. And it almost seemed romantic, like Romeo and Juliet. But then I snapped back to reality. What would it do to those who love me? It would be very painful to a lot of people, especially my wife and my parents. No, it would be wrong. And I am gradually putting my life back together after leaving my job and going on disability. I have a bright future ahead. I have to keep reminding myself where I was a couple years ago. In bed, in tears, in agony, not accomplishing anything. I’ve come a long way. Actually looking forward to tomorrow.
“On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away…”
—Dave Gilmour, Anthony Moore,
Song by Pink Floyd
I’m on my fourth week of volunteering with the Salvation Army. It’s become abundantly clear that not everyone is cut out for that line of work. Some, who may have begun with idealism, are now burned out. Some want to help, but not become too close with those who are in need. Perhaps they’ve been burned too much also. There are always those who are going to seek to take advantage, those who ask for a little too much, those who are dirty, smelly, or ugly. So, it takes a special kind of person to embrace such as these. It takes a special kind of person to see them as just like oneself, another human being. To treat them with love and respect, not as a problem. Maybe one day I can be that special person. For now, I’m just starting to learn about this place, where two very different worlds meet and dance a beautiful dance together.
Into a hole
To be released
From daily stress!
To escape the chains
Of all this mess!
To cozy up
To a sharp knife,
Or blow out my brains–
But I couldn’t do that
To my wife,
Or my family and friends.
It all depends
On the foundation
Which I’ve built my life.
In this nation
To the values and strength
Inherent in how I’m made.
Or the sacrifices
Of those who love me
Time and energy,
All the money,
Making me free
From this disease.
Yes, so much
It would be a shame
To come to
A premature end.
I must confess,
It’s not likely.
For your story.
For a sign
That you are ready
To go with me.
I feel the sting
Of your rejection.
You don’t want
You just don’t want
To be alone.
So maybe there
Is hope for us
In the end.
Can make it work.
Closer, you dare
To touch my hand
In a moment,
Our lives pass us by.
We cling to whispers
On lonely nights,
Flowing like a river
Into each new day.
Holding you for a moment
Seems only yesterday.
Count the times
I said I’m sorry.
Bless me with a smile
When I say that I love you.
Remember playing cards in your
Apartment, going on long walks together
At night, remember me sleeping all day,
And me blowing up like a balloon,
When I ate tuna casserole? Remember
Me being admitted for suicidal thoughts?
Remember the med changes, the visiting
Hours at the hospital, being mad at me,
Not believing that I would do it, and
Maybe you were right. Remember the
Tears, the arguments, the
Disappointments and heartbreak?
Remember the good times, with family
And friends? Remember the parents in
The hospital, your surgeries, my
Procedures, shock treatment and vocal
Cords? Remember the trips to Shands,
The Sunday school mornings and church
Services, music and children and
Candles and sermons? We’ve been
Through a lot in 21 years. And I wouldn’t
Change a thing, if I could! Love, Bonch
Christ mass time is here oh ho ho ho!
Jingle bells are ringing in my ear.
Can you feel my enthusiasm?
Really, I’m happy about it, but
It is stressful with all the expectations
Of joy and merriment.
Carol all your bells and all that, but
Don’t expect me to join in.
Yeah, I know, it’s the season
Of peace and love, giving and getting,
Snow and fireplaces and hot chocolate.
I can’t wait to celebrate and I’m glad
My shopping is all done.
Now, bring on the cookies and candy!