I’m sort of a melange of feelings today ~ with a strong dose of forced numbness thrown in.
First: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Are you familiar with this? It’s all over the internet. Every day in my facebook feed there is yet another one of my friends (one of whom is my daughter) dumping ice water over their head, to raise money and awareness for ALS. It’s almost always funny, and silly and entertaining. And I’m astounded at what this is doing for ALS research.
But: at the same time, I’m thinking about ALS. It’s a terrible, cruel disease and my heart aches for those who suffer from it (one of whom is a sweet friend of mine from high school) and for their families. And I try to shove away the gloomy thoughts, but I can’t, quite.
Second, as I’ve mentioned before, we recently adopted a new puppy, and a new cat. Calypso and Luna, respectfully. We are so pleased with both of them. They’ve melded so well into our home. Both are friendly to us and to strangers. They are housebroken, they are playful, and they are bringing us joy.
But: what they are not, is friendly to one another. They tolerate each other most of the time, but other times the cat threatens and the dog pressures. They both take the offense, rather than just leaving well enough alone. We are seeing progress. I found them lying near each other on the bedroom floor last week, and they’ve successfully passed each other in the house several times. They were wary, but calm. Now, this whole thing is not a huge cause for distress in my life, but when people have asked how things are going with the new pets, I usually joke that we’ve got “a bit of an Israel/Palestine thing goin’ on in our home”. There’s usually a bit of laughter, and the person I’m talking to knows exactly I mean by that illustration. But the only reason that illustration works is that everyone knows what life is like in that part of the world. And you know what? It’s not funny. It’s sad and tragic. I think about the lost lives, and the pain of mothers and fathers, and I try to keep my thoughts to happier subjects, but I can’t, quite.
Third is the death of the American journalist James Foley. This, I truly cannot stomach. I am turning the news channel when the subject is covered ~ it is not even enough to just mute it. I am forcing my thoughts elsewhere when I find myself thinking about what happened. And I know me ~ this is not the first time a story on the news has been too much for me. There are those in my family who would call me a wimp. Others might use the word “compassionate,” I guess. Whatever. I feel terrible that I can’t handle following the coverage. I guess I somehow feel it’s abandonment or something; like I have so much less strength than I wish I did. Nevertheless, I choose prayerful numbness over feeling, because I sense the feeling would overwhelm me.
There’s a lot going on in the world right now. A lot of big, terrible things, all at once. Yet every day there is laughter and love in my home. Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend the extremes, and stay balanced. And I find myself leaning into Him, gratefully.
There is nothing wrong with being so horrified by an evil act that you want to turn away from it.