I’m fine. This is fine.

There is pain today, as there is every day.  Unlike in years prior, before technology made it possible to know of hundreds of harms in a matter of minutes of internet wandering, people typically only knew of the grief of those within their town, within the fields of their local newspaper reporters, or within the posturing hands of gossiping prayer circles.  Because of this lack of exposure, there might have been days when it felt like nothing truly catastrophic happened.  Currently, this freedom that unintentional ignorance provides doesn’t really exist.  Unless one chooses to actively avoid all news, there is no day when something detrimental doesn’t feel right around the corner.  Unfortunately, when a person does decide to protect their heart and mind in this manner, by avoiding a daily dose of global information, some view it as a lack of caring.  I do believe that learning is necessary, that trying to gain knowledge about the world I live in is important.  On the other hand, I believe shielding myself is equally valid.  If I’m so broken by the chaos and distress that isn’t within my reach, what strength will I have to be firm and stable when the havoc is next door or in my living room?  For a long time, I felt that Jesus telling people not to worry in Matthew 6:27 was insensitive and unreasonable.  We’re human and we worry.  It’s part of the nature of being human.  Now, I see this suggestion of his from a slightly different view.  What if Jesus isn’t really saying that we shouldn’t worry?  What if Jesus is saying that we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves because of the things we worry about?  What if his implication is that dwelling on things we have no capability of fixing isn’t a helpful use of our energy?  What if this isn’t an admonishment about worry but a gentle reminder that resting and letting things sit and be what they are is sometimes the better way to love ourselves and to make room to love others in doing so?  I like to think that Jesus might have had an inkling of how hard it is to focus on loving people the way they need to be loved.  Though he was divine, he was human, too.  If we struggle to appreciate, affirm, and validate the people we share a kitchen table with, then Jesus did too.  Likewise, he also felt unappreciated, lacking affirmation, and invalidated.  Later in Matthew 26, his friends fell asleep when he needed them to be awake.  He needed them to be awake to support him while he worried in the garden about the burdens in his life.  Like the people we hold most dear fail us and we fail them, the disciples were not what Jesus needed them to be.  The writers of the Bible probably didn’t want us to focus on the human aspects of Jesus, so we don’t know about the times that Jesus didn’t have a good day and lashed out or didn’t try as hard as he could have.  I think Jesus wasn’t scolding about worrying about life but instead acknowledging that being alive is incredibly hard work, that the effort necessary to change yourself, to be the person you want to be for yourself and the ones you love, is alone enough to break you.  Worrying about the world every day is being too hard on yourself.  Maybe Jesus was telling an inside joke for himself, because if he was already carrying the weight of the world, why did anyone else feel they had to as well?  We laugh about the meme of the dog drinking coffee while the house around him burns, but there is truth to this visual.  Sometimes, we’re not fine and no one else is either.  Jesus is assuring us that having our coffee and recovering, even just a little bit, does not alter the heat of the fire, but resting might alter our ability to endure that heat. 


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