Some days are really hard. Sometimes I don’t even want to get out of bed, the air in my bedroom seems to be thick like wet cement… I open my eyes and just stare at the ceiling, wondering if it’s worth the effort. The world looks dark, it sounds quiet, colors are muted, the sky seems pale, my coffee tastes bland… I get up and start the day, mostly by reflex.. stand in the shower, brush the teeth, put on clothes… (did I wear this yesterday? who cares… just tie that other shoe.) Before I walk out the door I feel my face to see if I’m wearing my glasses, since I really haven’t tried to look at anything yet. I go to work, also by reflex. A few hours later I find myself driving home, trying to remember anything that happened at any part during my day… (usually building off a vague recollection of having soup for lunch… but giving up when I start thinking about how every smile I get seems forced).
When I get home I flop on the bed, or the couch, or the floor, and stare up at the ceiling again. Maybe I fall asleep, maybe I just keep staring.. either way I eventually notice that a few hours have passed so I sit up- out of some subconcious notion that I need to be doing something. I’ll look at my phone… no messages.. some junk email.. I’m about to win 5 different games of “Words With Friends” because nobody will take their turn… I end up flipping through the photos… it’s strange how happy memories can end up hurting so much.. The numbness of the day starts to loosen when I realize that lump in my throat is back and I can’t swallow, so I sit up and take a few deep breaths.
I’ll hold my guitar for a while.. I usually only strum a little bit before my head gets too heavy and ends up resting on the guitar. I realize my mind is someplace else when I hear that voice start fading into my head, like the way your alarm clock slowly fades into a dream until it startles you awake…
I blink my eyes back into focus and stand up. I put the guitar back on it’s stand and pop my back. I look around my room, at the piles of un-did laundry… some clean, some dirty, some I don’t even remember getting out of the closet. I rummage around and change into a pair of shorts and a t shirt (probably from one of the “dirty” piles). I muster up some courage and head off to the gym. I spend about 45 minutes beating myself into the ground.. I keep myself moving and lifting and pressing and curling.. keep forcing myself to stay in motion. Eventually I look around to see where she went, but then I remember I came by myself today… just like I did yesterday, and last week. Like a black hole, all the gravity in the room seems to be pulling to the place where she should be… but she isn’t there and it’s getting hard to swallow again anyway so I head back home and do something, maybe nothing, until it’s finally “ok” to turn out the light and go back to sleep. As I’m drifting off, someplace between being awake and asleep, I hear that same voice fading into the distance… all I can make out before it’s gone is “I’m sorry, I love you and I’m still here.”
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
God is not a sympathy card. He doesn’t take us out for coffee as a token of friendship and tell us “this too shall pass”.. God is not a photo of a sunset with some corny tagline about ‘opening and closing doors’ or flying eagles… God is a mirror, He feels what we feel, He hurts when we hurt… He knows. When we go through the day in complete silence because we just don’t have the drive to form words, he’s silent right there next to us. When I sit and hold my chest because it’s cramping up again, His is too. He feels the gravity in the room pulling to that empty spot. He’s right there when I beg Him to let me fall asleep so I just dont have to think any more… He tucks me in, tells me He loves me and sits on the corner of the bed watching me until I wake up and stare at the ceiling again. I love Him.