a Patch, a Drop, in the blur

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        Its been a long time since I have linked up with Shadow Shot Sunday 2.  But its been quite the week, wanna share, and I have these really great shadow-y shots. Click on the link to see more shadows taken from around the globe by people with cameras and computers and exta time on Sunday.

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Lots of people I know, people I love, are not doing well this Season of Joy.

I have been on my usual teeter-totter of high and low emotions that December seems to always accompany.

My good friend's husband has been recently diagnosed with stage 3, aggressive cancer. He is 25.  They have a three and one year old sons.  They have no health insurance.  I know good hard, hard working folks without a job and kids expecting Christmas presents.  Others are dealing with the full range of emotions associated with watching an aging parent end their last days of this earth not well.

We have had a month of detours and disappointments.  Nothing like cancer and unemployment, so we do not complain.

And yet.

It still gnaws.

And our joy, our thankfulness: it erodes. And then the guilt looms. Because good grief, we really don't have any problems if chemo is not on our lips except for in prayers for others.   

Thursday, the 6th marked the little celebrated observation of Saint Nicolas Day. I have a thing for Victorian traditions, and often pull out this book:

Mrs sharp

for inspiration and daydream about living 100 simpler years ago. 

I planned a full-fledged Saint Nicholas Party for my girls this December 6th.  The following day, with the children I volunteer teach for religious instruction, I had a similar Saint Nicholas party for my tiny class.

Thursday, as it turned out, was a train wreck.  Financial crap, physically feeling like crap; it always coaxes out the sleeping giant of depression in me.

I put on the ridged stone Mama face, but the kids sensed that underneath that thin veneer- all was not right with Mama.  Late Thursday evening  I buckle down despite my emotions to do a little spiritual/history lesson for my class the next day.

I went to this web site: The Saint Nicholas Center hoping to get more fact less fiction about who really was Saint Nicolas.  There in the glow of my Mac as I am sprawled out on the couch scanning sentences about Asia Minor, the Roman Empire and epidemics I read it:

"Nicolas radically took what Jesus said to do seriously and he gave away all his wealth and possessions to the poor".

I read the rest of his story. After I read, this is what I heard:

His life did not get better.  His life got much worse.  He was a human being like us all, surely he had bad days and asked "God why".  But for the rest of his life, with hunger and beating and imprisonments he never ceased being a man of compassion to the poor and needy as Jesus commands.

He was martyred on December 6th sometime in the 4th century.

Centuries later Christians starting building churches in his honor,  canonized him as a saint, made his tombstone a holy relic. However, I bet there was not much of that while he lived.  People were just trying to survive after all, including Nicholas.

When we suffer, either horribly, or with just steady drips of stress and discouragement, we all think:

"Hey, I don't deserve this.

After all I…"

But that gets you nowhere fast.  No, not nowhere; it sucks you under.  Everything you once believed as true and good and lovely and surely worth it, gets called into question.

In a strange way reading Nicholas's life helped.

{I am a history geek what can I say}.

Following Jesus does not make all the bad, hard, ugly go away.

As I wrote in my lesson for the kids I teach, {several who candidly tell me about the horrible family situations they come from and look at me with round sincere eyes and ask "Miss Leah why?"} :

Jesus gives you joy after the crying.

Jesus gives you peace when you ask everyone you know "why" and no one comes up with an answer.

That, strangely, is enough.

Despite the days it seems pretty shitty to me, to be honest.

But truly it is enough, because it is supernatural.  As supernatural as a God-baby being born to a Virgin. It seems if only eejits would believe that; but believe roughly 1 Billion people on the planet do.  Not some fringe group of uneducated weirdos, despite what Tina Fey would have you believe {but i still love you 30 rock}.

It is that patch a light in a long dark hallway.


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It is the tiny reflective drop of wonder right in front of you when you take the time to step carefully, adjust, be still, and see. 


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Bad news.

Unfairness.

Weariness.

Loneliness.

It obscures our line of vision and isolates us with black thoughts.

But a shaft of light, a chrystal drop of illumination, pushes enough of it away to walk on. 

Walk on.

Joy will come in the morning.

Cheers.

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5 thoughts on “a Patch, a Drop, in the blur

  1. Love your shadow shots Leah, esp. the DOF in the first. Jesus warned believers there would be testing times, belief in His power is what gets us through the hard stuff (that doesn’t miss us because it’s Christmas). All part of the plan we just can’t fathom sometimes.Hope you guys stay well. p.s it’s 2pm Sunday arv here.

    Like

  2. Leah … you wrote an amazing thoughtful post here .. my sadness is intense this month as well .. my sister who’s name is Leah died of colon cancer but I didn’t not find out until it was 4 years too late .. I have a very dysfunctional family and it took me this long to work up the courage to phone my father to ask for her address .. he blurted it out along with the fact he was sending her son to university on his dollar.
    How kind and thoughtful was that to tell me at the same time that she died and I had no chance of mending our relationship.. sorry … this is too much information .. I just wanted to say , I understand the depression and sadness.
    Joy

    Like

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