By Melody Harrison Hanson
The future disturbs,
chases at my sanity and sensibilities.
I am scared of each intake of breath, every thought
and this moment. I am stuck.
The only thing that makes sense is Jesus.
I lean in to Him. I cry, ready for anything.
If only I could cry actual tears.
That too soon reminds me I am only partly healed.
I feel barely human.
What kind of person cannot cry?
The weight on my chest is unimaginably heavy.
Hope is cloying and oppressive.
I am scared of the future, looming dark and cold.
I am afraid of these days I am living now.
I want to believe that eventually this life of mine will have a purpose beyond this day.
I am more than the money I don’t earn.
I am more than the things I do.
I am more than what I give.
I am more than what I take.
I am more than the words I write, slipping them into the cosmos with trepidation.
I am more than merely a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a friend.
Why doesn’t being beloved feel better than this?
In the end I am stuck with myself, I am barely human.
I want it all to mean so much more. I want
the children I meet to change me.
I want the people I love to make me feel alive.
I want each action I take to mean something.
And yet it is all utterly meaningless unless
Yahweh is everything.
This poem is about the greatest of idols self-identity — allowing our meaning and purpose to come from anything but Yahweh. The sermon at Blackhawk this week kicked off a series titled American Idols. The premise is that anything in your life, even a good thing, that becomes more important than God is an idol. In an age of psychology and self-healing, through medicines and talk therapy, self-worth can all too quickly become an idol.
For me, the journey of finding my way back to faith and belief was so huge in my development of a healthy identity. Still, many days, as I search, as I long for, need, wander, hope and fear — the process becomes an idol. The process becomes this thing that distracts me from who God is, what it means to be his beloved child, and the few things that he calls me to each day.
Here is what I wrote last week in response to the sermon Stop. It is a part of a series I am writing called: Be Real.
One of the ways I’m going to do that– be real — is by writing a response to the sermons I hear at my church, Blackhawk. These responses are not from the church, just my reflections. I am always challenged by teachers at Blackhawk, sometimes profoundly, but I don’t — to be honest — always take the time needed to apply them to my life. But, if life is too busy to apply what you’re learning about your faith and if you don’t change and grow, what’s the point? So here goes. Many people are busier than I, including my husband, and I just hope that this helps reinforce in some small way what God was already saying to you.