Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daniel Fast: Day 5

My headache never let up yesterday.  My shoulders and the back of the neck throbbed.  YouVersion reading for the day was Psalm 119, and none of the words made sense.  I gave up.  Presumably caffeine withdrawals last longer than I thought they would.  

Jason came over about the time I closed my Bible and my eyes, hoping for a nap.  He has a project due today and thought he might work more effectively at our house than at his.  

We talked, and he knew his project wasn't hard, but it required that he choose an academic journal article to summarize and analyze.  He browsed the databases, looking for just the right article.  I empathize with the task of finding journal articles.  You want it to fit the assignment.  Really well.  No sense getting penalized for choosing an article that doesn't apply.  And you want it to be an article that you can understand.  Seriously, some academics write in another language.  One that I don't understand.  And optimally, it should be something interesting.  

I generally go through about 20 articles to find one.  And I print ten of those out.  And I read and I vacillate and my stomach gets tense.  

It's sad when you realize that you have passed down your perfectionist tendencies to your children.  

But I am not on the verge of a major breakdown, and eventually I suck it up, choose an article, and get to work.  By lunchtime, Jason was ready to call it quits, and he packed up his bag to go home.  I walked over to him, placed my hand on his shoulder, and prayed for him silently.  

I also offered him lunch, which usually gets my kids to stick around, and when we were done, we sat and talked about what he was feeling.  

I struggle with depressive feelings sometimes, but not like this.  Always I know God loves me.  I know that no matter how bad things seem, no matter how bad things turn out, God still cares.  I might suffer, but I am not alone.  

It's like Jason lives in darkness, like he only sees flashes of light, and those flashes are so far away they only offer hope to other people. He lives in a world of "if only."  If only my parents hadn't taught me at home.  I would have friends.  If only I had  gone back to El Paso.  If only I had gone up to CSU LA.  If only . . . 

No hope.  No God.  He doesn't like himself, and he doesn't understand why anyone would ever like him.  

And finally, I said, "I wish you could see the world the way I see it.  And I know you think I'm delusional, but I wish you would surrender your heart to God."  

We talked a little more, and then I got up and took a nap.  My eyes just couldn't stay open anymore, and the room was spinning.  

I woke up after an hour or so, and we talked about the journal article he chose.  "You've got the ideas," I said, "Now just brainstorm a little on paper to get them into writing."  He took his puppy and went home.  I got a first draft of his paper a little bit ago, and I imagine I'll see him soon to go over it.  

I love Jason.  His pain causes me pain.  
But Jason's not the only one living in darkness.  

I think this is why God sent Jesus.  He saw his children, his creation, walking in darkness, and he wanted to show them the way to light.  

I wish the headache would go away completely, and honestly, I feel much better today than yesterday, but I'm grateful for the reminder to pray for individuals I know.  For people I don't know.  

Hopefully I'll write more today about Psalm 119.  I do love that psalm.  

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