August 30, 2008

Does anyone else sense it?

I have no reason to be unhappy. I am doing what I love. My wife and I are closer than we've ever been. My kids are beautiful, smart and fun. And yet, I feel surrounded and connected to a deep sadness. In me and around me. Friends whose children are dying, family going through health problems that they have neither the emotional or financial resources to endure, neighbors facing major heart surgery, a nearby pastor whose healthy wife died unexpectedly in the bedroom while he watched TV a room away, not to mention an entire city that's gonna get bitch slapped by a hurricane when they've barely gotten on their feet from the last beating .

And then, there's this... Every time I get a look deep inside someone, a glimpse of what they're really feeling, I see doubt. Doubt that they are worthy to be loved, doubt that anyone cares for them, doubt that God has a clue what's really going on down here.

Does anyone else feel it? What's going on? I am simultaneously overwhelmed by the saddness and scared that I am losing the ability to give a damn.


The Medievalist said...

I absolutely understand what you are going through. I have friends and family members that are facing unemployment and unpaid mortgages; friends and family members fighting depression; there are other things, but not for mentioning here. And poor New Orleans--can it survive another beating? Some days it's just a bad old world. Hang in there. It always changes regardless of how we feel about it.

Shannon said...

I feel it too, Dan. I work in real estate and my gut wrenches as I show dozens and dozens of foreclosed homes and think about the displaced families and their lost dreams and hopes. My cousin recently lost her 18 year old son in a freak car accident. I'm in Greg Laurie country who recently lost his son in a horrible car crash (a son who leaves a young child behind and another on the way). Due to the harsh employment market, I live 2,000 miles away from my partner. As for the hurricane, it's too horrible and too soon and too raw to even imagine.

I don't know how to explain the deep inside human doubt of God's love but I do experience deep inside human generosity and genuine gifts of love toward me and that, maybe, is my personal best evidence that God does love me.

This I do know, without question, from halfway across this very big country, simply through your posts on a blog, I never have thought you as anything other than a deeply caring and empathetic man and artist. And that's a whole lot of awesome I would like you credit yourself with!

DeAnna_Toten_Beard said...

You have been witnessing some very seriously bad stuff, Dan. Soul sadness is a really appropriate reaction. Even Jesus got sad. The gospel writer John recorded Jesus' tears at the death of his friend Lazarus. I think that detail is in the story to help us not feel that depression only happens outside of God. You know?

DeAnna_Toten_Beard said...

One other thing...and I don't want this to come off as trivial....but I know for a fact that you have been reading/watching some difficult/sad/dark/depressing artistic material recently. Movies. Plays. Music. "SEVENTY SCENES" is full of real grief. And I don't know about you, but I finally finished "DR HORRIBLE" only to get thrown into a couple of hours of a blue funk. In my own life I find that the art I consume has a real, concrete impact on the state of my heart. I'm not AT ALL saying you shouldn't go to dark places in art. I'm just saying you should recognize the impact.

Boobie said...

Thanks for the comment dan and tell courtney thanks for calling. It was really sweet. I think we could all use a bit of encouragement right about now.
Hang in there.

Shane Alexander said...

People who don't give a damn don't give a damn about not giving a damn. I think we can only take so much of this stuff and our hearts just get overwhelmed and stop producing the emotions we would normally expect to feel in these situations. That's just a way of saying that your perceived lack of reactivity to all of this is a sign of reactivity to it all. If it weren't for all of it happening at the same time, you would feel more keenly what you feel about each one that was happening now.

I am only fifty percent sure that made any sense, but if it doesn't, I don't give a damn.