Breaking the Silence on Politics

Donald Trump. When I heard he was running, I thought it was the biggest joke ever. And I’m still laughing, at him and with him. With his king-of-the-jungle-gym attitude, wild claims about “building a wall,” and some of his comments that were disrespectful to women, I was less than impressed.

Now, I see things a little differently. After seeing Clinton get away with what she’s gotten away with, and finding out that maybe Trump isn’t so bad for women and minorities, despite what the media says, I am officially on the band wagon, and I can’t keep my silence anymore. The fact is, he has placed many women in top positions, and while he often says stupid things, I think we should look at his actions. It is not inconceivable to me that behind his bravado and fixation on appearances and concerns about illegal immigration, he is a man who truly believes in America and the rights of all people.

“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders. He never had a chance.”

This is what he said in his speech at the RNC tonight, and I guess it was just what I wanted to hear. For so long, I have been really jaded about everything. I sincerely want to believe that this is true. I want this to be true. We are a nation in crisis, and the fact is, we need help.

I do fear that Trump won’t deliver. I fear that his high-minded rhetoric won’t translate into anything. But so many of us need hope. So I believe in Trump, even though there are just as many reasons not to believe as there are reasons to believe. We’ve got to have faith, and we can’t let disappointment eat away at us.

But if Trump fails, that’s okay too. He is a man, not the Son of Man.

Do we want more of the same? Do we want a corrupt, ruthless elitist masquerading as an altruistic Democrat?

So I’m back in the game, and I will actually get off my butt and vote this time, come what may, come what may.

 

 

 

My (Updated) Testimony

I don’t know if this is just a temporary spiritual high, and I know there’s a reality check on the way (curse those reality checks!) but I hope that the Lord has changed me permanently today at least in some good and pleasing way.

I’ve been disillusioned before, but oh goodness, I don’t think I’ve ever been disillusioned like I’ve been disillusioned today. This flat earth thing (seriously, Google it!), Illuminati controlling our entertainment, food poisoned… is it any wonder that I feel like everything that I’ve ever believed is a lie! And I was so pissed, and disgusted, and tired of everything. Now I know what Jesus meant when He said that we could not love the world. That we could not serve money and God. This is it! And now, for maybe one of the first times in my life, I feel like I do hate the world, and I’m sickened, not at people, but at the horrible things that Satan has done through us. I mean, yes, that is a spiritual statement, but come on, Satan worship is a real thing, people admit to it!

But even with all that rage, I still felt peace in my heart and spirit like never before. Oh, I know that I’m not an angel now and I know I’m still human and I’ll screw up again tomorrow, but I saw something! The Lord, the Lord is all that is good! The Lord is the only thing I need! That’s what we’ve forgotten, that’s why we’re engaged in all this crap. I thought I had surrendered before, but did I really? And I’m so happy! For a moment, it was like all my depression and anxiety was gone. I feel like it’s all led up to this. Why live in regret, when I can see now what’s going on and what the Lord wants from me? Oh, I’ll doubt again, but I don’t think I can completely unsee what I have already seen.

I looked around, and realized I didn’t need any of this. The rock, the clothes, the “food”… And even my precious childhood memories, even those “good” things I hold onto, that I liked in my innocence… even that I count as loss now. My Lord, what was in those chicken nuggets I ate when I was a kid? And what’s in anything? No wonder people are so sad! Just look at the food we’ve been eating. And the water! Thank God people are starting to wake up.

I guess it’s good I sort of “hit the bottom” again. Where is rock bottom in my pathetic existence? I’m tired of being a puppet, tired of being weak and cowardly and submissive, I want to actually love and live and not just follow rules and try to eek out a miserable livelihood. I want a positive, not a negative, existence!

I afraid that I will lapse right back into my old ways, but I don’t care. The time is now. Right now, this is all we have.

I was always so proud to be an intellectual sort of person, a cynic, a creative, free spirit. But what good is all that without God? What good are the tunes we churn out if they don’t harmonize with His great symphony! And I wanted to be a lawyer, maybe for some good reasons, but I think a large part of it was just my natural inclination and desire to have a decent job. And some ego stuff too! But now! I still want to be a writer… and I want to do a lot of the same things, but the emphasis is just much stronger! I always wanted to write about God, but now I want to do it so passionately, so unambiguously! And my character will still struggle and be tempted by a great many things, but the emphasis has changed. Yes, I have an agenda, everyone has an agenda. I don’t believe in art for art’s sake.

And I still want to be a lawyer, but if the Lord has other plans, that’s fine, I don’t care. But right now, I want to do something about all these sick, awful things that are happening. I know it’s idealistic, I know in some sense you can’t beat the system… but I’ve got to try something, whatever it is, if I get the chance.

And everything is so different now, my whole life is different. Who was I before? I think I know who I am now. I’m ______. And God created me. And I exist on this earth. Not for myself, and don’t let me forget it.

This is IT! This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life! Can it be so glorious and bittersweet just to be alive? Is this what it’s like, to, for one moment, not be plagued with anxiety and guilt? It’s hard for me to say that all the struggle was worth it, but maybe it is.

I love Jesus! I don’t care who hears it, I’ll keep on saying it. I’ll try to say it always. Lord, I hope I can say it in the light of day, say it with my actions, and not just online where it’s safe. He is the One thing that is true, in a world of syrupy, saccharine deception and evil! And it was so hard for me to see it. I didn’t want to get caught up in asceticism and miss the point, but here, here is the grand Point! All is in His hands. I ask for forgiveness for everything, and I know that He actually will forgive me. He already has. He’s been waiting this whole time. I was so frustrated with myself, seeking and seeking and not finding, always doubting, always afraid, temporary solutions, racked by guilt, anxious, not knowing why… I thought it was physiological. I tried yoga, I tried lost of things. But the Lord is the one true cure. I know I’m emotional now, but it’s true. I’ve always known, but it was hard to believe, hard to accept, hard to let go of my soul. And now, now I just want to be with Him forever.

 

 

Awakening… But For How Long?

I felt like I was dying a little bit every day. The anxiety. But more than that, a desire that was so overpowering, bigger than greed, bigger than lust… it was the desire to express the very rhythms of my soul.

Writing a novel, you should not write a novel in your head. It’s maddening. I’ve got to wait until the end of the term, you see, and then I can go to Texas. I must needs write the thing after I go to Texas. My character is going to Texas. Any other way would be cheating. So I just sit here on my hands, while my fingers burn with the desire to create, while my mind reels… to come to grips with reality, to just stay afloat. I’ve never felt so repressed in my life.

I could not let God have my soul. He could have my heart, he could have my spirit, at set times, but not my soul. That was my muse, that was my very essence. That was my ego.

I was terribly proud. Proud and ashamed. I was a real snob. I couldn’t help it.

I wanted God, I asked for Him by name. I sought Him. Even found rest, at times. But I wasn’t listening to Him. I wanted things too badly. I couldn’t let go. I especially couldn’t let go of the desire to get better. I wanted so badly to be good. But this too was my ego. I wanted to express Him, but felt like I was just putting on a show, faking it till making it. Because how can you really express something that you yourself don’t understand?

I realized that the Lord wanted us to live and be happy, not to moralize. He planted the earth with wonderful trees and flowers. He wanted us to work, he wanted us to sing, and have sex, and yes, probably even write. I realized that I could not take credit for my talent, my eccentricity, my lack of talent. I had always known this, but did not feel it all the time. I realized that I needed the Lord. All things come from Him, and all things should go back to Him. He is what I have wanted to express all along. Being an artist is good and fine, but what good is it when you’re miserable? What good is it when all you can express is the endless, unfulfilled yearning of your human self? I think I’ve become disillusioned, but that’s okay. The price to pay was high. I still wonder why I had to suffer absurdly  just for a nugget of spiritual truth. Did it need to be this way? But I feel like I’m a step closer. I feel like I can give even my writing to God. If I am never able to publish, that is ok. If I can’t even finish it, that is ok. If I can’t express God… ugh. But I want to do at least that. If the Lord gives me a chance, I want to express Him. I feel like I’ll fail again though.

I can see my life as an endless succession of failures with no meaning… or I can see it as a beautiful mess. A divine orchestration of chaos to get to the real punch line of it all. My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). I may not have a lot, but weakness I’ve got a ton. Come as you are. The Lord says that certain classes of sinners won’t be allowed into His kingdom… but I don’t know the meaning of that. What I do know is that I must keep coming back to Him, even when I stumble. It’s just the only thing to do.

 

What Can Anxiety Do For You?

I recently read an article on Buzzfeed called “16 Little Things You Can Do For Someone With Anxiety.” While I found it well-intentioned and interesting, I wonder how often any of these things can be implemented in real life. Anxiety makes me feel all alone in the world. I’ve talked about it with people before, but sometimes I kind of regret this. It makes me think that maybe their perception of me has changed for the worse. I know, classic anxiety. What I’m saying is that I don’t think that other people can understand. Just like I don’t understand the things that they’re going through.

I wish that we could all understand each other. Wouldn’t that make things better? I wish that we could respond to one another, help one another, and bring up one another. But I can’t help but feel that anxiety is just alienating me from the rest of the world. I don’t feel like anyone is willing to understand. Why should they go out of the way to befriend me? Why should they see me as their equal?

I hope that there is a place where people with anxiety are accepted and find healing from understanding friends and family. I haven’t really experienced that lately, but I hope that things will change. But is that asking for a fundamental change in human nature?

The Swing

I spread out my legs, hold out the club, grip it (but not too tightly), praying that my left arm will do its job. I bring it straight back, straight back, my hips move back, shoulders, pause… don’t look up! And then follow through. The reassuring plunk sound, and the ball high up in the air. A smile.

Lord Jesus, isn’t it a beautiful day! Thank you for this day. Thank you for this new chance. I feel that we are all here for a reason. All of us, even all of us on this bus. Good Lord, isn’t that a beautiful song? Aren’t those beautiful people? Isn’t all as it should be?

I spread out my legs, hold out the club, grip it (but not too tightly), praying that my left arm will do its job. I bring it straight back, straight back, my hips move back, shoulders, pause… don’t look up! And then follow through. The ball just flies across the ground.

Lord Jesus, isn’t it a beautiful day! And I’m going to enjoy it. I know just what to do. But doesn’t that annoy me? Doesn’t that remind me of past nightmares… No, all is as it should be. Love, love, love! But I will… But I can’t. I am helpless. What’s wrong with me? Why do I keep doing this? Why doesn’t anything good ever last? Why is the only antagonist… myself? My failings.

They say Jesus loves us in our failing… but what if we’ve believed our whole life and have nothing much to show for… what if we miss so many more than we make…

And then there’s the blood He shed, of course. Stupid me, must I reteach myself the most basic tenets every day of my life? Yes, there is his blood, it is there, but why do I not feel it, how in the world could it ever become real to me…

I know that he welcomes back the prodigal son. I know the robe is all prepared for me. Dear God, I know, but I have such a hard time believing. I have faith about the size of a mustard seed, I guess that is large enough. I still have faith the size of a mustard seed. I am sure there will be times when I will be seized by despair. I am sure of that. I don’t know when this will end… I guess it will last as long as I live. As long as we all live. One cannot eliminate fear, but can one eliminate neuroticism?

God, I am sure I will need You every moment of my life. Hopefully we can get to know each other that way.

 

Inspiration Again From The Brothers Karamazov

Next week is finals week for me. I have been feeling unwell- coughing fits, existential crises, and an abundance of fear. I survive on vitamins, coffee, and stubbornness. I am trying not to get consumed in this, though. I want this to be an opportunity to grow and learn.

I really like this passage. This is from, of course, Brothers Karamazov (Oddo translation), a scene where the highly revered and genuinely spiritual monk, Father Zosima is uttering some of his dying words:

“Be glad as children, as the birds of heaven, And let not the sin of men confound you in your doings. Fear not that it will wear way your work and hinder its being accomplished. Do not say, ‘Sin is mighty, wickedness is mighty, evil environment is mighty, and we are lonely and helpless, and evil environment is wearing us away and hindering our good work from being done.’ Fly from that dejection, children! There is only one means of salvation, then take yourself and make yourself responsible for everything and all men, you will see at once that it is really so, and that you are to blame for everyone and for all things” (276).

This is truly one of the most brilliant ideas I have ever read. Although you don’t find something like this verbatim in the Gospel (and you have to be careful what you believe, and some things in Dostoyevsky’s works are kinda philosophical and new age in a relative sense, but not in a really bad way) I think this is totally what Christ stood for! Although it may sound depressing out of context, like, that we have to be responsible for all sins, some really bad sins that we didn’t even do, and perhaps would never think of doing, it actually makes sense. And this is why- because if we do this, if we, as Jesus told us, decide not to judge others and see ourselves as responsible and accountable for the bad things that happen in this world, then we lose our pride. We stop hanging ornaments on the Cross and we start taking it seriously. We start feeling that we really need Christ. And we stop judging others. How else can humanity ever be a brotherhood? We tried communism, we tried religion, we tried a lot of stuff. To try to shallowly love our enemies, hateful, despicable sinners, is nearly impossible- but when we start seeing or fellow human beings as not too different from ourselves, then that is where we get somewhere. And when we hang all the sins of the world on Christ’s shoulders, then that makes the sacrifice he made all the more beautiful.

Just trying to take better care of the bodies the Lord gave us