"and everywhere the world is bare"

When things inevitably go wrong and they inevitably do, I want to curl up in my bed and savor the darkest silence I can find. This is of course, not the best of choices, as it is rarely dark enough and never quiet enough and there's only so much staring at a wall I can do before my thoughts begin to spiral dangerously downward. When things look bleak and I am in need of comfort, I recall a couple of verses from Isaiah:

Comfort, O, Comfort my people!
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem
and cry to her that she has served her term,
that her penance is paid,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2)

This is the verse I use to remember the feeling I had when I first felt the overpowering glory of forgiveness. Whether I am standing on an overcrowded train, or huddled in my bed or sitting at my desk, I can recite this verse to myself and remember that although my fellow humans may fail me time and time again, He never will. I know that I can place my hope in the Lord and have my strength renewed and that is all I'll ever need.

The support of my dear friends and a little Avril seem to be helping for the moment as well:

Don't pretend, I think you know I'm damn precious
And hell yeah, I'm the motherfuckin' princess

Many thanks for the tea and sympathy,
Elizabeth Bathurst

*For those of you who will be attending NCYM-C sessions next month, I'll be covering Isaiah 40 more in depth, probably on First Day morning.
**Avril will not be covered.
***Sorry about the language, Mama.


Personal Query #5

To what extent is the performance of my worldly duties promoting or hindering my growth in grace and my service for God?

At the moment, there are a lot of things distracting me. I'm conducting a roommate search, exploring a new relationship, and spending a lot of time/energy on my therapy. It's a busy time of year at work, as we approach the end of the fiscal year and budgets must be spent out.

I think that there are ways in which getting my head fixed is helpful to my service for God. It's easier for me to find time to do service work and personal acts of kindness now that I'm doing pretty good. It's also much easier for me to center in worship when my crazy is under control. It's a good feeling, but it also takes a lot of effort.

I wish that I had more time for blogging. It's good for me. I need this space to put my thoughts in order and focus on my spiritual life. I think that it's going to continue to be on the back burner as I prepare for Yearly Meeting. I've still got a lot to think about and a lot to read in order to feel comfortable with leading the things I've agreed to lead. Perhaps I'll get over the hump soon and start enjoying the preparations and get some spiritual satisfaction out of them, but at the moment I just feel utterly overwhelmed.

Love is like rain, Part 2.

once again, this was written a little while ago. I apologize for the delay.

It's another dreary day in Boston. Perhaps the fourth day since we've seen the sun and everyone is getting a little cranky.

Last night, a good friend got engaged. I got word this afternoon that some college classmates are expecting their first child. It's spring and love is in the air.

I'm not immune. In a fit of foolishness, I accepted a date with a lovely man. He's wonderful and bright and everything I would look for in a man, if I were looking.

The first couple of weeks were great. He made excellent conversation and wrote me frequent witty emails. I was smiling and distracted and nothing bothered me all that much.

But last night, things changed. It became clear that things couldn't stay that way forever. It's time to start the unpleasant intimate conversations I'd rather not have. I'm spending too much time thinking about how to tell him x, y, and z when I ought to be doing ten other things. I'm already worried, terrified even of how these conversations will go. I have other things to do. It's not fair that I have to take these things into consideration.

Perhaps my reservations about relationships and love are based entirely in fear. Perhaps I just need to suck it up and hope that there's something comforting and elegant on the other side of this storm. But right now, I can only see fields of mud. I'm already cold and I have no idea if I'll ever be dry and warm again.

I've always taken comfort in the teachings of Christ about marriage:
"Not everyone who can accept this teaching but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so since birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can". (Matthew 19:10-12)

It's okay not to be married. It is not an affront to God to forgo this sacrament. It might bother my grandmother, but really, Jesus matters more.

Paul takes it a little further (as always.) It's not just okay for people to go through life without marriage, it's prefereable. After all, there's more time to focus on living an obidient Christian life when you don't have to worry about maintaining a marriage relationship or support a family.

You might as well get married if you can't keep it in your pants.

Being single is pretty easy for me. I really only have moments of wanting romantic moments in my life. I'm comforted in those moments by the Bible and by my relationship with Christ.

But now there's the young man in my life and already everything is complicated. I'm worried that already I'm being less attentive to the movement of the Spirit. I'm more interested in seeing if he's emailed me.

But I also can't wait to see him on Monday.

Elizabeth Bathurst