Thursday, October 09, 2014

A tormented heart

I'm tired.  And torn.  About just about everything I can think of.  Often lately, I'm far more aware of my craziness than lately.  I feel like I can't think straight, can't focus, and even when I do focus it feels so jumbled and all-over-the-place that it's more discouraging than anything else.

Let me give you some examples of my recent madness:

Last night our 4-year old Leah was refusing to go into her Awana class.  This has been becoming more and more commonplace for our little girl.  She clung to mama like she would fall off a bridge if she let go.  I was furious.  And heartbroken.  Two conflicting images you say?  Well yes, I had them both in equal amounts, but at various times.
"Just go to your class!" I wanted to scream at her.  "This is not optional you little &%*#&!!!"
"Oh honey, you've been so much lately" I wanted to whisper to her as I swooped her up and kissed her nose.  "Just rest your head on papa's shoulder, let's go get some ice cream and just be together, of course you don't have to go to your class."

See my craziness?  I don't know which is the better parent, nor which is the better response.  I feel torn. God, help Leah love her bi-polar dad.

At the worldwide day of pray that Cru holds every year we were praying through God's promises.  "Whatever you ask in my name" Jesus says, "Ask and it will be given you."  He has promised, so He will stick to his promises.
Internally I went nuts.  "Oh yeah?  What about the hurting?  What about the recipients of the ISIS/ISIL reign of terror?  How come their prayers aren't answered?"
"But," I thought, "you really are faithful, father.  And you're good.  Perhaps I should just trust you to uphold your promise?"
"Good luck with that," my other half mocked.  "A farmer prays for rain, while so many others pray for nice, clear weather; how can God possibly answer both of the prayers asked in his name?"

So, not only do I have no clue about how to respond to my little girl, but now I'm bumfuzzled about prayer.

We continued praying, and eventually we were asked to pray for our hurting world.  Ebola, ISIS/ISIL, economic depravity, and a number of other things were brought to our attention.  How could I be torn about praying for the hurting?  Listen:
"This is great.  I'm grateful to be in a room full of people asking God to intervene and help.  Thank you, Lord."
I looked around, and my mood changed.  My sarcastic and pessimistic voice took over.  "Look at all the money in this room.  Look at all these nice clothes, from these nice, cordial, upper-middle class people.  Oh, boy, isn't it just grand of us rich people to pray for the lesser while we do nothing but sit on our hands.  Isn't that just awesome."

Parenting, prayer, and the hypocrisy of christians (and myself) has me torn in half.  And this list could be so so so much longer.

My suspicion is that I'm not alone here.  Please comment and let me know I'm not alone.  Or don't, I don't care.  But really I do.


Anonymous said...

I can completely relate. You are not alone

Bart and Melissa Shadle said...

Thanks Zuri! Or not?

Jose F. Salazar said...

You're not the only one and of course you're not alone. Worldwide we suffer with our brothers and sisters who suffer, if one part of the body hurts the rest of the body hurts as well. I've been meditating on Romans 8:18-27 lately and praying for our worls and for you guys. You're definitely not alone. The whole creation is groaning and some of us feel just like you. Or maybe not.

Bart and Melissa Shadle said...

Haha, thanks Jose. Let's start a club and get badges and everything.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bart! It was nice to meet you at the Bloggers' lunch! I liked this post... very real. I wrote something similar a few weeks ago about living with life's tensions: I also wanted to introduce you to my husband and his blog. :) Maybe you will meet him around LH sometime! Keep writing!

Bart and Melissa Shadle said...

Thanks for visiting Terry! I'll for sure check out your sites.