Basking in the Light at the End of the Tunnel

August 30, 2008

The mess of 2007 is gone. I don’t live in it anymore.

Now, when I say the mess of 2007 in this instance, I mean the disaster that my living space became as my emotional chaos began to manifest itself in large-scale physical realities.

When I lost my mom, I couldn’t “keep it together” anymore. In some ways, I think that was actually a good thing for me to finally lose control. I encountered the realities of my weakness. I became utterly dependent upon the Lord and the incredible community that He put me in. I found the freedom to let go… to breathe… to live.

Of course, things did get a little out of hand. And the mess I had made was quite overwhelming as I began to fight my way out of it.

Adding to the state of “Hold on! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!! Can we keep it at maybe just 10 things that are rushing at me all at once???”… I was beginning to take my first steps out of the prison that I had been living in, that I had willfully walked into. The silencing of my own voice. The concealment of my own self. The resignation and dissipation of what God had created. The relinquishing of the life and joy that God had set before me.

Cleaning my room was an emotional task. The whole process was VERY tied to my mom. It involved a lot of sitting and crying.

Without Richard’s unrelenting “encouragement” (or, shall we say, prodding and threats) to clean my room, it would have taken a lot longer before I gave that any real attention. It was such a daunting task.

There’s one thing about that Richard: He harasses me. He assails me–he goads, prods, pokes, nudges, urges, and spurs me–with uncompromising persistence. He agitates me out of my resignation. He disrupts my “blissful” friendship with the status quo. He provokes me to press into freedom. He calls out realities and disturbs my “contented” delusions. He exposes the hideous truth behind the apparent utopia that I am subscribing to. He alerts me to the actual. He sobers and awakens me, setting the truth before me in such a way that I CANNOT linger in my groggy, intoxicated state. He challenges my cowardly acquiescence to “the way it is”.

He’s a little bit like hope, in that way (per Jurgen Moltmann’s remarkable explanation of what hope is and does, as articulated in his Theology of Hope). It’s actually rather annoying. An annoyance that I am extraordinarily grateful for.

So, disillusioned and newly incapable of being “content” with chaos, I began to clean. I made significant progress in the task. I had to… or Richard was going to help me do it (an idea that I was decidedly against).

It was a mess like none I had ever created before. But I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel–my room was beginning to approach clean. I had only two remaining sections to complete… my bookcases and my kitchen things.

And then my sudden constant-out-of-town-ness happened. And it’s REALLY hard to keep things clean when you are in a continuous state of coming and going. Constant travel is not particularly conducive to maintaining a clean room. Especially when you are emotionally and physically exhausted because you are so incredibly busy. I lost a significant portion of the progress I had made.

But, at least, it has ended.

It is done. My room is clean. And I cannot describe how amazing it feels.

My room (actually a new room, which I will explain some other time) is clean… organized… peaceful… calm… and blue. I walk into it and my heart swells with that inexplicable light, and free feeling. It has become a sanctuary. It has become a place of rest and meeting.

I can’t wait to get back home… to that beautiful symbol of my gradual coming-out-of-the-muck-and-mire. I can’t wait to step into that space again and just breathe.


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