I Am More (a poem response to Blackhawk’s Sermon “Who Is Your God?”)

I Am More

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.

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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.

I Wish: Thoughts on Life

I wish, I wish.  I wish I knew what it meant to really accept yourself; to like the person you are and who you are becoming.

I wish I could remember what real joy felt like.  I can’t remember the last time I felt it, if ever, which can’t possibly be true but … I just can’t recall it.

I wish my father wasn’t dead; that I could have really said good-bye while he was cognizant of me and remembered my name.  And more importantly, that I could still have him – here – to learn from, know, grow with.  Too many lost opportunities.

I wish I knew how to love my Mother, to accept her for who she is, just as I want to be accepted for who I am.

I wish I was a better friend; I want friendship but I’m just no good at it.

I wish that the cloud of depression, the sink hole, wouldn’t pull me down so often.

I wish we didn’t have so much stuff, which just creates a cycle of want, acquire, move, clean, dispose of, replace.

I wish I had confidence that my kids are going to be okay, that my mistakes and who I am won’t hurt them.

I wish I could remember positive experiences from growing up, because I know that growing up wasn’t ALL BAD, but I can’t remember.

I wish, I wish.  All I can do today is wish, for although I am up and out of bed, my head is screaming in pain and my heart is heavy; all I can do today is wish.

12/18/2008