Sunday, May 27, 2007

on hearing, part three

It is early Monday morning, in which I woke up from a fitful and sweat-laden sleep. I came downstairs to the computer and a cup of Starbucks, and to pray. The amalgamation of thought, prayer and computer exploration, plus the memory of my Sunday, continues on hearing. Sunday dawned one of those perfect, spectacular, early summer days, humid and sunny, but not too, full of fresh trimmed lawns and fiercely blooming flowers. I woke feeling a little better and took my morning walk. The bird trills were not as distorted and reminiscent of breaking glass in my left ear, but still did not register properly. Yet I felt buoyed and wanted to attempt church. So off we went. We were late, but found seating, and came in to midst of a crackly reading of announcements, and to worship. I tried. We started off with America, the Beautiful, and continued with some real favorites. But as every note passed, the sounds became more and more crumpled and sharp in my ears. It took all I had to stay and concentrate on what was being sung, which normally is one of the most enjoyable experiences in the week. I quickly exited when the last note was sung after a good sermon, exhausted.

The day remained a beauty, but my mood and mind only registered the gathering clouds of depression and doubt. My usually sunny daughter was not in a good mood either, and that made it so much worse. A call from my mother-in-law requesting a joint visit to the grocery store sort of capped it all, like fake fingernails on a chalkboard. I told her I'd call her back. I tried to sleep, but found no relief at all. Then I remembered something my 12 step sponsor told me after my fourth-work on honoring the roles of mother and father to find healing. So I called my MIL back and agreed to take her without complaint as an expression of honoring your mother. I further considered this and realized, I'm not honoring my Father in this, either. My focus has been all on myself, my suffering, what I need, what I want, my own faithlessness. I know I have a legitimate right to feel all of that, but then it hit me-I'm doubting His love. That is the greatest dishonor to His title, the title scripture says every earthly father derives his from. As the day wore on, I continued to consider this, realizing I had basically dissed my doctor's course of action, gotten somewhat upset because I was prevented by two chaplains from doing what they felt was too much in the prison-I have not honored authority over me. That didn't cause my lack of hearing, but my lack of hearing revealed a deeper lack. The sermon was on Moses, and his rash action trying to rescue his people before God was ready to. It was disastrous. I also realized I doubted my husband's regard for my situation and continually harbored a bad attitude all weekend.

So back to tonight. I woke once again realizing my prayer life and reading have been paltry lately. If you really love someone, you'll do what they ask. I went on the computer and ordered some books to help me consider the human condition and God's workings, Dag Hammarskjold's Markings, and a contemplative read. In the midst of my search I came across atheist Christopher Hutchinson and one of his books trying to discredit faith and religion. As I read the reviews of his book, I realized this man fails in his attempt simply because he does not even entertain the reality of faith at all, nor that there might actually exist a loving God. To read this made every instinct inside counter with what I know to be true. A friend sent me examples of British chalk artist Julian Beever's incredible illusionistic works drawn on sidewalks. They appear so real, people on the street actually walked around illustrated holes in the ground. It looked true, but in fact if someone had stepped on the drawing, they would realize it's a fake, an illusion. My prayer was an attempt to "step on the drawing", the drawing of life as a meaningless exercise in futility, not proceeding from anything other than protoplasm and back again. To me that is the illusion, and a very dangerous one. Life has meaning, tremendous meaning, suffering has purpose, love does truly conquer all. To assume it does not takes more faith than I possess. So my ears aren't that much of a problem after all. Oh, my daughter noticed my distress about the grocery store and volunteered to accompany me.


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