Thursday, May 26, 2011

being dropped by the scruff of your neck

Yesterday I lost my head for a bit after I read a story in the paper about a man who’d lived through some horrible things. This stuff is all around but sometimes things hit me so viscerally. In this story the man’s parents had taken him to the middle of nowhere when he was a child and then told him they were leaving him there, that they didn’t want him anymore. There were other horrible parts in his story but that one really broke me. I dropped what I was doing and I wrote him a long letter about how he doesn't know me but I wish I could go back in time and take him out of that horrible situation, that he was lied to, that he is incredibly precious and loveable. There are big tears (dried now) all over the paper. I just signed it “s.” After work I walked to the shelter where he was staying and went through a series elevators and all this to find this man, and as it turned out I couldn't just hand over the letter at the desk. So I went to the volunteer desk, then to the social worker liaison desk but wasn't getting anywhere so I’ll have to mail it. I hope it gets to him. To deal with the gut-wrenching stuff I read online I sometimes write down their first name and save all the names up and then once a week go to a cathedral and cry about it and ask for some kind of healing and restoration. I was begging for that today for the church we left and their relationship with the music guy they fired. When I read about that man who was abandoned by his parents I was reminded of our church and the music leader. He and his family had been part of this church for thirteen or so years and it was their family and social hub, and now they’re emotionally and economically bereft in this economy because of the church’s decision and they could lose their house. I still can’t believe that this happened. It’s the second most tragic thing that’s happened to me. It hurts my chest to ever look them and their kids in the eye because I can see their hurt. I’m drawing on the bitty seed, the dust mite, of faith I’ve got left that there will be something beautiful from this that we’ll see eventually, but for the past nine months it’s been a festering pile of rotting Marmite. I don’t think you can have insane beauty without insane tragedy so I’m trying to remind myself of that and I’m trying to embrace my grief every day and let myself feel it but sometimes it really feels so deep that it could sweep me away.



Anonymous said...

One of the themes of the last Harry Potter book is that most evil is done by people who are willing to trample over those who get in the way of their quest for the greater good.

It's true.

Eli said...

Le Sigh. I am really glad you let yourself grieve, though. I am working on that bit. Numb feels safer but it's not. Damn it.

Kara said...

That's Jesus. Just sayin'. What you're feeling with and for others - really SEEING them, what you did for the man, the pain and the prayers. You're showing me Jesus.

Still Breathing said...

Stephy, I think I have told you in the past that in times like this you share in Christ's suffering.

You have an amazing God given gift of compassion that means you feel other people's pain, see them as God sees them and can offer them real consolation; not just fine words. We both know what it's like to be hurt by people in the church and to see others that we love hurt and I can offer you no 'quick fix' answers. However that tiny bit of faith you have is all you need because with it you are moving mountains to touch others with God's love.

Some years ago I read about a new Christian who was given a Bible to read and later said 'I skipped to the end and we win.' Remember that in the end there is God and God is Love.

God bless and PFATP

reborn1995 said...


Have you ever heard the song "Again" by Flyleaf? You remind me of that song. Might be therapeutic for you (even if you don't dig the style)--it's a song where God is speaking to someone like you.


reborn1995 said...


Sorry if this is annoying but i couldn't resist. Feel free to delete if you like. Otherwise--what do you think of these:

I love the way that your heart breaks
with every injustice and deadly fate
Praying it all be new
and living like it all depends on you

Here you are down on your knees again
trying to find air to breathe again
And only surrender will help you now
I love you please see and believe again

I love that you’re never satisfied
with face value wisdom and happy lies
you take what they say and go back and cry
you’re so close to me that you nearly died

Here you are down on your knees again
trying to find air to breathe again
You're right where I want you to be again
See and believe!

jessi knippel said...


thanks for your words and sharing your broken heart...when i heard about the whole thing at church i was so happy i had left for california because that would have been the last straw for me.

that was a beautiful thing to write a letter and send it and offer your tears.

been meaning to say that you inspire me and i am always thankful for your posts and words and music!