Posted by: jmdenham | August 7, 2012

A Hot Mess

Well, it has been a while since I wrote any kind of blog post whatsoever, and that was two lawn mows ago.  (get it? two lawn mows…the last post was about…lawn…mowing…(silence)…)

Anyway, it is hard trying to blog at this point in time.  Honestly, my job makes reflecting on life like trying to drink from a firehose.  Life, and death, and everything in between, come fast and furious and the reflections on what it all means about life and my life and who I am, well, all of that comes even quicker.  And because of that I also come away quite exhausted and often a hot mess.  But that is alright friends. The job is wonderful and a blessing.  It is awesome to walk alongside of other families, to walk with other kids, to try to bring joy to some and comfort to others, light to a few who are in the midst of darkness…and that includes both my families and my staff.  But it has emotional consequences.

Emotional consequences I tell you.  Like I am way more crazy “sensitive” than ever.  It’s like I can cry on command, it just comes.  So…to make a long intro to a story a short intro, I got to see a movie tonight.  (Actually, I saw a premiere tonight of a movie coming out next week, albeit without Jennifer Garner coming out in a red carpet of sorts and all sorts of movie makers entering to flash bulbs of cameras.  But, this at least means that I will not share the story much at all.)  The movie is “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.”  So, without giving much away, the movie begins with a scene you can see on the trailer, with a couple being incapable of having a child and or including having some sort of miscarriages.  And later in the story, there is a clear movement towards the loss of a child.  That’s all I will share by the way since it hasn’t come out yet.  So, yes, if you would have told the chaplain at a children’s hospital that I would be walking into a movie after work that included inability to have a child, miscarriage, broken families, and loss of a child, you would have not even got me close to watching that movie.  But a friend had the ticket, and I had a rear end to plop down and an ignorant blank slated mind.

Immediately, within 5 minutes of the movie starting, I hear the pain of not having a child, and while others are saddened in the theatre, I am already weeping.  A hot mess I told you.  And then as the loss of a child comes into play, my heart is just torn and sad, even if the story doesn’t leave me there.  A hot mess indeed.

But this is the rub isn’t it?  A good life is not a life lived apart from others, feeling only what is personal to me.  A good life is a life lived aware of the life of others, and sharing that with them, both joys and sadnesses, light and darkness, cheer or jeer, relief or pain, gray and grayer.  A good life is a life where those other people are so connected that I yearn for them, I desire for them, I want life to grow in them, even when they aren’t like me at all.  It’s why I do my job.  It’s why I care for the children and the child abuser all the same.  It is because I share life with them, and see and feel their joys and hurts, and yearn for life to be created anew at every moment.  A good life is one where I can share jubilantly in the joy of a dinner with friends, a new diagnosis of cancer free, the news of a healthy child on the way, a 12th or 75th birthday.  A good life is also one where I can share in the sadness of a funeral with family, a new diagnosis of a brain tumor, the news of a healthy child abused, and the birth of a child who will not make it to their 12th or 75th birthday.  Why?  Because both of those are where the God who created life and who has power over death lives.  In both ends of the spectrum and all in between.  And because that God feels both much more vibrantly and purely than the hot mess I can be.  Because in both the joy and the pain, there is a God who will not, can not, would not run from this life, but etches resurrected life throughout it all in the Son.  And even if that doesn’t satisfy the non-Christian, I can promise that the life shared in both ends, is a beautiful life.  It’s a breathtakingly beautiful and good life when you are truly walk with others.

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