Monking Around

I celebrate good. I want my life to reflect my surrender to what is good, to a Jesus style way of living.

I never write from my darkness because I dont want there to be any evidence that it exists in me after it passes. The reality is that it is. I am taking a pretty big risk here, letting my readers into this dark place. I dont mind telling you about it after the fact, when the flowers begin to sprout from the scorched earth of my soul, but during the process I keep it to myself, or at least I try to leave no physical evidence to the fact that sometimes hope and faith are in short supply.

Lies, betrayal and bold theft. Hell, there were even a couple of attempts on my life. Amazing it is that every instance came from people who i had considered friends. They received my gifts and ate meals with me and my wife and kids.

Today, and many others I suppose, I want to be a monk. I want walls separating me from them. I have more than a few phobias. My phobias were well earned. I won’t dignify them by posting my resume of trauma and i wont ask to see yours. I believe you. I hope you believe me.

There is this really dark place that looks very inviting. It is a place of cloistered solitude. Extreme vetting is to be expected of those who desire access. Few, if any, are those who qualify. It calls me in.

There are a few relationships that are redemptive. They are the only things that keep me from donning a brown monks robe and heading off the grid. I have lost a lot. I’ve thrown away even more. I know better than give in. I know I won’t like the landscape when I return from this dark space if i give in.

None of this would be an issue if there wasnt this voice screaming in my head. Perhaps it is only tinnitus, but it is loud. It calls me to love others the Jesus way. It is at odds with my desire, even my need, to withdraw. It puts me back out there where the hurt is. Kindly keep your christianized cliches to yourself. They don’t help. I don’t want any of it. This is real.

I get the cloistered monastary. It’s high thick walls are a lure. I am looking for a balance. I know deep down that balance is health, and health is good, but damn, the extreme looks so much more inviting right now.

In a letter the Apostle Paul sent to Timothy he said, “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times, for people will only love themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving, they will slander others and have no self control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.”

That just about sums it all up, but knowing that God saw it coming does not make me feel any better about it, any of it. It might make a difference tomorrow. Stay tuned. I will likely tell you how it all works out.

I love love, as well as kindness and goodness. I cling to those and celebrate those. At least mostly I try. They more reflect my heart than the other, and the other is breaking mine. Can’t even imagine what it does to God’s.

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