Tonight the old man looks at me with grandpa eyes and says “God don’t make no junk.”
And I know this.
Every day brings a brand new, stabbing pain in my heart. My skin crawls. I can’t focus on anything and I am sleepy and sluggish and depressed.
This old man, he only knows half the story. I only know half the story. I want solutions. I want all good feelings. I want things that seem lavish and fantastical at this point but I pray for them anyway like God is friggin’ Santa Claus because I want a miracle, preferably by Christmas.
I literally cannot go another day. I cannot make another sandwich for another kid, I cannot lift my arms in the shower to wash my hair, I cannot I cannot I cannot.
I want proof. Visible, touchable proof–that God loves me, that He is with me, and that I am not junk. I want that old man to give it to me.
But tonight he looks tired. His shoulders are slumped. He rubs his eyes. He sighs. His wife is sick. He has several people on suicide watch and the holidays are always tough.
And he smiles at me and he looks kind and I wonder how any person can bear all the burdens of all those people that he helps. How can anyone deal with so much suffering?
I guess Jesus did, but I’d be lying if I said that brought me comfort in this moment. I know all the things and today I still feel hollow and mad. Tomorrow I will feel slightly bitter and the day after that I might even be happy–it’s always changing and I feel powerless when it comes to controlling my emotions.
I turn to logic: when has acting on my anger done anything remotely good for me? When has any decision I’ve made in my sadness or jealousy or unhappiness steered me in a positive direction? Instinct is good for some things; but I’ve always held a tendency to jump on the feelings train and ride it straight off a cliff.
My faith will not betray me. What I know to be true about God will not change tomorrow or next week or next year despite how I may feel in one moment or another. I am always loved, and God don’t make no junk. My heart has not shriveled up and died. My hope is not lost. There is a light at the end of the tunnel but it does not lie with well-behaved children, or a devoted husband, or a circle of supportive friends: the light is Jesus, and He’s never going away.