What The Heck, Jesus?
March 31, 2020. My journaled thoughts based on Psalm 13...
What the heck, Jesus?! Is this going to last forever?!
I’m cooked. Done. Not sure what more I can do. Raw. Really Raw. I’m all over the place in so many ways… and I hate it. And I’m alone… stinking COVID. I’ve seen the hashtag #alonetogether, and while it’s true, it’s still crappy.
Jesus, are You able to meet me soon? I really want to be close to You… and to others. I want Your face. Their face. I’m so torn between pulling away into despair or stepping back into a space where I can be seen, and see… It’s just harder from across the sidewalk or through a zoom call.
This morning my head is just a mess. God, I’m angry and sad about how hard it is to live, to be a parent, a husband, an at-home-teacher and a friend in this work-from-home/school-online/don’t-waste-the-toilet-paper/feels-like-forever kind of world. Last night really sucked. I lost it with my son, missed my daughter and my wife, and woke up to see that I left dinner on the stove instead of putting it in the fridge. I feel like I’m constantly losing. All over the place. Sorrow in my heart at every turn. That’s probably not true, but it sure feels like an unseen enemy is doing all the winning around here. And my tendency is to run and hide.
Nonetheless, I want to be seen, even if it’s through a zoom call--the new campfire circle for 2020. BYOB. Coffee or stronger. I’ve had several video calls this past week, and I’ll admit some were a blast where we laughed like crazy, and then I’ve had some where all I could do was sit and wipe tears away. Did I say I’m all over the place?
Jesus, I really want Your face in front of me. Can You join my next video call? Maybe You have… and maybe I saw You in the eyes of the men who watched me languish this morning, or in the laughter of technology fails with my parents, or in the shared grief of a generation who is all walking through the same crap at the same time.
Maybe I’ll see it in the light of the sunrise that shows up... Every. Single. Morning. Like this morning, watching it break through my window, and then I get a second serving (a la zoom) seeing the light overtake the darkness in the background of my friend Dave in San Diego. The light helps me open my eyes from the various forms of death all around me. I don’t want to succumb to death like that. I don’t want to be another statistic that the darkness will rejoice in… with COVID for sure, but more importantly with giving up as a husband, father, friend or as a man.
Ohhh, Jesus. This is quite a journey. In my heart… I know, know, know that You are just fine. While everything seems to swirl out of control around me, You are unfailing. You are steady. You are in control. And You love me like crazy. Oh, my heart… it needs Your love so much… and that gives me joy. Even for a moment.
I’m not alone in this, but my experience of this time is uniquely mine. I’m trying to figure out what I need every moment, and hearing what the next expert or good-intentioned person has for me is probably not it. Maybe it is, but how can I be sure? We’re all in the fog at the same time. I need a view from above. I need You, King Jesus, and Your unfailing love. I’m finding my way back to you, and it’s my way, my path… uniquely for me and my heart today. You are saving me. It helps me rise again.
Walking the dog this morning, I did try to sing a few lines from my worship playlist. I wasn’t quite there, but I gave it a go. I don’t think the dog cared, and nobody else heard. But I was singing to you, Jesus. And I’m sure I’ll sing again. And I’m sure I’ll be a mess again. And I’m sure that this is part of being human. And, like the sunrise, I’m grateful for your faithfulness and goodness to me. Every. Single. Morning.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.
Bart Lillie is the Chief Catalyst at Restoration Project. He lives life at full speed, knowing full well that speed bumps, hairpin turns and unexpected landslides become harder to avoid at that velocity. After a wrong turn, wipeout or head-on collision with quarantine, he often returns to the Psalms and his journal. Over the past couple days, journaling his own version of Psalm 13 (above) has been a compass to recenter and re|engage.