I know that I need to write today. I haven’t written a blog post in over a month. There are important things to write about. There are things that need saying, and I know how to say them. I have important ideas, and I know how to articulate them well. I have a responsibility to write, no matter how small my audience is.
But, the world hurts too much right now.
I’ve been dealing with that old dragon, depression. I haven’t had a single week in the past month without at least one day of dragging myself out of bed, and just trying to summon up enough energy to stay awake. I haven’t had a single week without at least one day of having no desire or energy to do anything at all. I haven’t had a single week without, at some point, curling up in my bed and just wishing that I could close my eyes and die.
I try to keep up appearances. I try to pantomime a semi-normal life. After all, I have kids. I have a spouse. I have friends. I have responsibilities. I have people who rely on me to be invested in what’s going on around me. I try so hard, and it sucks all the life right out of me by the end of the day.
Because, the world hurts too much right now.
When the world hurts too much, it’s like my head is swimming with thoughts and ideas that cry out for expression, but they’re all locked in because I just don’t see the point in letting them out.
When anger, violence, ignorance, and hate seem to rule the world, it feels pointless to talk about love, peace, understanding, and compassion. Who is listening? Who cares?
When so many Christians aren’t interested in acting at all like Jesus, why bother trying to bring the Gospel to the Church? When there are no ears to hear, why even open your mouth?
When the streets are filled with so many homeless and destitute, when homes are filled with abused children, with hungry children, with children who will never get a chance to rise above their upbringing… you know you’ll never be able to help even a fraction of them, so why bother?
Why walk out into the world when everyone is shouting at you to stay home? Why try to be the dissenting voice when everyone is telling you to sit down and shut up?
I try not to grow weary of doing good, but I’m weary of never making a difference. I’m weary of pretending that I matter.
I’m weary of feeling embarrassed that the world hurts so much that I want to disengage from it completely. I’m weary of “sucking it up”. I’m weary of being hurt, of taking one for the team. I’m weary of fighting fights that I can’t win, fights that can only leave me bleeding and bruised.
Yet, in those moments of clarity – those rare moments when I can see past the hurt – I realize that I’d rather die fighting those fights that I can’t win than curled up in bed, whimpering that it all hurts too much. I’d rather be ineffective while trying to make a difference than living a life where I don’t try at all. I’d rather help a few individuals in my life than despair over all the ones that I can’t help. I’d rather preach the Gospel to deaf ears than never preach it at all.
Maybe we all need a moment when the world hurts too much to speak, or think, or breathe. Maybe we all need those times that feel so much like self-pity, but are actually self-protection. Maybe we need these moments of crying out that we’re so damned tired of it all.
Because, once we’re done crying out, we know it’s time to move again. It’s time to speak again. It’s time to fight again.
When the world hurts too much, just let it hurt a little. And remember that if it’s hurting you this much, it’s hurting itself far, far worse.
Go out and try to heal it.