Let’s face it: Life is hard, and dangerous, and sometimes you get lumps in your smoothie. People who pretend otherwise bug me, because they are not just lying to themselves, they are lying to me. The ones who REALLY bug me are the Christians who act like if your life is hard, it’s because you don’t have enough faith. We Christians need to stop lying to ourselves and each other about that. That’s the kind of lie that keeps us separated from God and from one another.
I am always amazed to realize that the SAME THINGS that were TOTALLY FINE yesterday can be a crushing burden today. I guess this is where we get the expression “same shit, different day,” but actually, I’m saying that the shit itself is bi-polar. It changes personalities, like the demon under the bed that turns out to be a teddy bear. Or like this box of doll faces. All depends on your perspective, I guess.
One night at a women’s group gathering we were discussing that sense of isolation that troubles bring. My friend Frana (who has been around long enough to raise six children and survive two years of widowhood–and counting) said something like: “I just realized that all these years I have been comparing my insides to other people’s outsides.” Yes.
When I hear something like this, shared by a sister or brother in the community of faith, I am able to unclench a little, and breathe a little deeper, and thank God for making me a human. That’s why we are here. That’s why we need each other: to share our insides, and our struggles, our joys and our fears. Faith is not the magic juju that keeps bad stuff from happening; it is the energy that keeps us connected to God and one another so we can keep going.