It's 4:59 am.
I'm sitting on the floor here in the dark.
The dog is asleep on the bean bag, snoring. The cat is sniffing the pile of wadded up tissues and I sip my coffee.
There was an earthquake last night that practically wiped an Italian town off the map. New studies show Zika is worse than we thought. An EpiPen now costs like $500. More blah, blah, blah, about Hill and the Donald.
I saw a post of a sweet 15-year old cat on his last visit to the vet holding his owners hand and gazing into his eyes. That sweet cat knew it was his time.
That's what started my waterworks this morning. (Stupid Dodo posts.)
And, all the changes.
And the insufficient fund notification from the bank and the checking account with $0.70 in it.
And that school started and I didn't get to start with it. And this new little dog who poops and pees in the house. And a kindergartner who really doesn't like this school thing very much.
And--all the changes.
I miss so much.
I miss my dogs-- both of them passed this winter. The comfort in unconditional comraderie.
I miss my children as babies--toddlers. The innocence, before they could really talk back.
I miss our old houses. The way they were so cozy and it fit us perfectly at the time. I miss when it was just me and my husband. Before the walls of time, age, stress and strife were erected. I miss the United States, far from perfect, but so much gentler. I miss having leaders in power that we trusted. I miss when we knew so little about the world around us and it was quieter. I miss when it was just me and God. There was just so much less. . . less stuff and people. Just me to take care of worry about.
As I left to pick the boys up from school yesterday, I thought to myself, "Meredith, why are you in such a state of discontent?"
That word has many meanings
CONTENT--Adjective: in a state of peaceful happiness. Verb: to satisfy, to accept as adequate despite wanting more or better. Noun: the things that are held or included in something, a list of chapters or sections in a book, the substance of material dealt with in a speech or literary work, etc.
I miss feeling really content with the content of my life.
I glance at Facebook. It's unavoidable. So much stuff. People I know near and people I see from far away. It's actually, ridiculously quite selfish to compare my "content" with their content. There is no comparison. "We are all fighting a battle no ones knows about, so be kind."
The people of that Italian town. Dirty, bloody, sweet, precious Omran Daqneesh--The entire nation of Syria. Rain soaked Louisiana. Babies born with Zika. The Keltners who have to buy $500 EpiPens for their son. The USofA that seems to be destroying itself. People in prison. People in the hospital. People on the street.
The thing is, beyond anything I could experience, see, and hear--beyond anything that could happen to me, or those I love--There was a man. He spoke the truth. He didn't argue. He didn't defend himself. He turned the other cheek when beaten. He was tortured. He was hated and betrayed. He didn't fight back. He willingly allowed them to nail his hands and feet to that crucifix and he willingly died. When he died, I believe he whispered my name to God. Just as he whispered your name and the name of every human being that has ever and will ever live on earth.
My content really doesn't matter. What matters is that HE is the content of my life. And minute by minute, my job is to keep digging HIM out from under all the stupid, insignificant stuff that gets piled on top of him. The bills. The worries. The world. Every morning, I unearth my Lord Jesus Christ. My savior. I have to strip back my thick skin and tear down the high walls I build everyday in vain.
That's all I can do. That's my job right now. I can call out to him this morning with tears streaming down my face. Help me! Help me find you LORD! I can't handle this!
Help me follow you. Show me which way to go. Help me love my husband today. Help me love my children today. Help me be a better parent today. Help me be a better wife. Help me help someone in need today. Help me get done what you need me to get done today. Help us with the bills--you know what we need. Help those who are struggling--you (only you) have the power to help them.
ARE YOU CONTENT WITH YOUR CONTENT TODAY?
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
“Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God."
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
Wendy Mass from The Candymakers; originally attributed to Ian MacLaren
(You, too, can cry at sweet, sad videos about animals at: www.thedodo.com)