Saturday, March 22, 2008
It isn't an easy task to get through life without becoming jaded by all of it's disappointments. I struggle have the correct attitude, a positive one. I have seen so much anger and lies and people that are disingenuous and it caused me for many years to have this attitude where I was skeptical of anything good. I assumed the worst in people and expected them to disappoint, maybe that was my way of never being disappointed. But what I have learned is that this is no way to live, it isn't living at all, it is being overly cautious and fragile. We aren't so fragile though, we think we can't make it through things, life, pain, loss, until we experience them and come out alive and most of the time, weathered, but better. I struggle to keep this kind of thinking out. It becomes a real battle when I am going through depressive stages, but it is a battle that must be fought, because when we jaded and effected/infected by others, we forget how to really live, I forgot for a long time, those are years I can't get back, but now I remember. I remember that through all of the sadness and anger and pride, there is real beauty, even in people, especially in people. I remember this homeless guy named Paul. My friend Jim and I used to lead a homeless thing, I can't call it a ministry because we didn't do it as much as we probably should have, but this Paul Paul was a guy that was badly burned and disfigured all over his body, his ear were missing, most of his fingers, and his heart was broken. His step father did this to him when he was like 12, for threatening to kill him if he ever hit his mother again. The step father just went in at night, poured gasoline on the sleeping boy and lit a match. Paul had been on the streets since addicted to anything that would take his mind away from his pain that was absolutely everywhere. I tell you now, this guy Paul was the sweetest man I had ever met, he had a good attitude, he love Jesus and taught me that for him God was a warm blanket to him, I agree and wish I always saw it this way. I tried to help him, to naively find him a job and housing. I gave him a calling card and he would call me from pay phones every night to pray before he laid his head down in the cold. I tried so hard, but in the end he stopped calling, he stopped showing up to our place we would meet. I lost all contact with him altogether and being the arrogant little jerk I always have been, I got angry, I was disappointed for working so hard for this guy, just to have him give up on me, on himself. At the time I was jaded, I could only think of reasons not to ever try to help again, especially against addiction. But now I am in tears thinking about this guy Paul. I didn't do anything about where he lays his head, or about what he ate and when, truth be told, Paul may have been designed more for me than I was for him, but I did learn something through that. God is a warm blanket. And that I have no idea what it means for a guy like Paul to give up, yet I thought he did, so I did, to my shame. But I won't do that again...give up that is. I am going to try harder because I think that God has been trying to tell me something, but I can't really hear it yet, I don't understand, but I know that what I am is never enough.
I'm a simple person to figure out. I usually write it all down here. I try not to pretend to be anything. I am what I am and that's good enough until it's not anymore. I want my kids to remember me smiling when I'm gone. Integrity is the very basis of a good life. I love my God, my wife, my kids, my friends, and I try to love all of the rest of you.