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So Help Me God (Almost a Poem)

Ernest Hemmingway once said, “There’s nothing to writing…. all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

I think he might have been onto something. Words bleeding into life, snow bleeding into hope, day bleeding into night then back into day again. God said that life and blood are inseparably linked, which might have something to do with Hemmingway’s typewriter. I don’t have a typewriter anymore, but I still have a heart that beats blood through my veins and sometimes I bleed and then I write. Today I ripped my hand on something, and the snow bled into puddles across the parking lot, and the sun rose and I saw it and it was beautiful, but then it set again when I wasn’t looking and now it’s dark and my hand is no longer bleeding but my heart is still beating and my fingers dancing across the keyboard, bleeding life back into words again.

These are very difficult days. And there’s a lot of snow on the ground again. Now it’s a new week, and the snow is still here, and spring is on its way but miracles seem far off and shoveling snow out of the way so you can carry broken pieces of a house to a dumpster is a pain, but shovelling snow gives a man something to throw his pain and anger into, with each scraping shovelful scraping deeper inside and words being hurled at unhearing snowbanks that are only as responsible for the hurt that I express as they are for their own existence. Not very.

I tore down a wall today. Strange, my life is a living bleeding metaphor. Tore it into little pieces and carried it through the melting snow and then abandoned it in the dumpster. But sometimes a wall must be destroyed for the sake of something better. But don’t pity the wall… it’s only bleeding. The wall has no feelings, that’s why it’s called a wall. That’s why the carpet is torn away and the baseboard stripped off, then the drywall removed in huge sheets exposing bare wood that’s cut away and thrown out leaving nothing. And nothing only lasts until He makes everything beautiful. But the snow hasn’t quite melted yet. And spring is not yet here.

Now I wonder why I’m always so frustrated. It seems the things I want to do are always out of reach and I am forced to ask myself if there’s some larger purpose behind that, like maybe the things I want to do are not who I was meant to be and I should walk a different road. But the road is obscured by armies of fear and faith pounding the pavement in the rythm of spirituality combined with brokeness to bring about a new creation with a new heart. And the armies clash with swords of lies parryed by the Word of God but way too many civilian casualties of happy days and safety being swept into the bloody gutter and forgotten in the face of overwhelming spiritual conflict occuring primarlily under cover of obscurity and confusion. Now you might be beginning to understand why I am frustrated. See, even if I try to live for something larger than myself, I see that this new and noble larger goal is too large for me to assault on my own strength. Even my own sacrifice is nothing when compared with the looming shadow of the future, and nothing I can do will make a difference now. I’m too small. So don’t ask me why I’m frustrated, I’ve just told you. I cannot save you, I cannot even save myself.

Depression is so last year, and bitterness bled away somewhere near the middle of January. But pain is a part of life, a lot more that I think it should be. Expectations never created a perfect reality, and the lack of understanding only makes it more difficult. I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about me. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing, because money in the bank can’t save my life, but working gives me a reason to wake up every day, and snow to shovel angry words into the unhearing snowbanks that bleed across the parking lot into the streets where the epic battle is raging for my soul. So help me God, I will be victorious. Promises were made to be clung to for survival, rocks were meant to be climbed to save me from the torrent. God is faithful, and His promises are forever. Sometimes I just wish forever wasn’t so far away.

(penned March 19, 2007)


published June 4, 2012

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