the dance of the ink riddled fingers

applying the gospel to loneliness

Posted in 52 pickup, epiphany tiffany, thought spills by enisea on 30/09/2011

Woke up this morning with a sore back, tired eyes and a groan of not wanting to face the same dissatisfaction as yesterday provoked.  In between broken thoughts, staring at my messy mop of hair in the mirror, whispering an unknown prayer and falling in and out of consciousness for almost the whole Aftermath album, came one thought which intrigued me:

“If you can figure out the gospel, you can cure loneliness.”

Knowing the gospel but not understanding how it transcends life and translates to life, is much like a girl who knows her times tables, yet struggles with how to apply it to everyday circumstances. Sure, she knows 4×12=48 at the drop of a hat, but faced with four (fairtrade) chocolate bars at $1.20 each and it takes her a minute to work out how to work it out.  It is the confidence in the concept but the uncertainty and forgetfulness in recognising how integral it truly is into the mechanics of our daily procedures.  Just as math is not merely a school discipline confined to the classroom, the gospel is not merely a four point sermon, to be remembered during alter calls and communion.  My observation of both math and the gospel are consistent in this: those who understand it and allow themselves to be taught by it, follow in excitement with love for it; contrary, are those who cannot comprehend it, in whom grows an avoidance to the point of hatred – but only a hatred for the theory.  Because the parts of these concepts they do apply, they don’t realise comes under the umbrella terms as mathematical/Christian practice.

One of my greatest battles in the application of the gospel is my constant confrontations with loneliness.  I forget the answers I’ve been taught and given every now and then.  And for me, being lonely and a Christian is controversial.   Because having acknowledged that I am found, known, loved unconditionally and pursued urgently, yet still experiencing feelings of dissatisfaction with that abundance of my heart-desires met, means that that something in the interim is not quite right: either the gospel is wrong, or how I’m perceiving it, or failing to apply it is wrong…  I have never found the gospel wrong, especially when I really test, search and dig into it.  I, however, am notorious for wrong perceptions and forgetfulness.

I can’t say that my isolated suffering has been purely hell.  Strangely, when I feel loneliness coming on, instead of the urge to contact another, I’m usually stubborn in seeing it pass because somehow most of the time, I get my best thoughts and most insightful moments when really fleshing it out – as though to detox myself of any addictions to validation and stripped of any dependauntes.  Haha, I pretty much wonder, every time I feel a noticeably heavy weight of isolation what I’ll learn about it this time.  Like consciously referring it heavenward, “God, it’s here again and I don’t like it, what are you gonna teach me?”.  Gritted teeth and clenched fists later, I’m learning on the field, a different angle of the same enemy, the character and mannerisms, how to counter and hit it back into retreating.  I must joyously report that every time I have faced it, the loneliness lasts a lesser duration and comes less often – so I am gaining ground, little by little.  Realising little by little that the gospel covers matters pertaining to my yuck and unkind feelings, that the gospel does apply to my lack and does provide the graceful sufficiencies to live life to the full and to be more than a conquerer.  But it seems I cannot swallow the wholeness of it all at once, because my little mind can only digest and “ah hah!” a small portion of revelation and epiphany at a time!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that everyone ought to fight their own loneliness individually.  Obviously I’ve had the occasional someone or other come alongside me and pick me up where I’m down, protect me when I’m at the end of my strength or what have you – I’m just bad at reaching out and depending on others because it’s so much easier predicting myself than having to factor another whole person into the situation.  But God’s been good, been very good to me and my stubborn refusal to be humble enough to ask for help – until my head is on the verge of exploding… and along will come the occasional God-sent shoulder or phonecall, at just the right time, and (arguably unfortunately) not a moment sooner.

To the many lonely Christians, you really are not alone in feeling alone…

And to the many lonely everyone elses, neither are you.

I think if we all came together, life would be a whole less lonely.

…just a thought ;)

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