Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weeping inside...

A man read my blog recently. I bumped into him in the street and he said something like, "I read your blog! - Gee you are a grumpy old bugger!". Well, John, today too I am a bit sad. I had to do my "statistics" for chaplaincy and I hate them, but even they faded into insignificance as I have had to think about other people's misery or sadness. A man who has a mental health problem turned up at our Space2B without his shoes. (It was a cold day in Dunedin) He has a problem finding a place to stay at nights, and he is a problem when he stays anywhere. I got to thinking also of friends and family going through tough times, and I wish I could snap my fingers and make things better, but most often I feel helpless to help in any way. I had to deliver some bad news to someone today and I felt their pain. I had to move someone out of an abusive situation, and I felt sad for what this woman was going through. Some of these people I like and I am close to and I ache deeply for them. Some of these people I do not necessarily "like" nor do I know them very well, but they are "brothers and sisters" in life's journey and it pains me to see them suffering or living stifled lives. So tonight I have been sitting blobbed out in front of TV comedy shows with a heavy heart.

Jesus in Luke 19:41 "came closer to the city, and when he saw it, he wept over it, saying, 'If you only knew today what is needed for peace!' " The leaders of this city were soon going to have him killed, but he had a heavy heart for these people. Tonight I weep inside for people I know.

Sometimes people seem to suggest that you have to be positive, smiling and "happy" all the time. I see these super positive people with gooey glib sayings on face book. I guess that's nice, but I happen to think it is OK to weep at times. It can be the beginning for renewed efforts to make life better for some people in some way some where, even if you can't change the whole world. Someone said (I think it was M Scott Peck) that facing up to depression or sadness takes courage, because when you do you are prepared to be "real", to be dissatisfied with the way things are and you can turn that into motivation to bring about change and growth that is needed. Being happy all the time can mean you are blocking out some real need for change to happen.

Today I have had cause to feel a heavy heart, not for me, but for others I am aware of. It helps me to know that sometimes Jesus too had a heavy heart.

A couple of quotes:

"I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something that I can do." .... Helen Keller (Blind and deaf!)


God grant me
to accept the things I cannot change
to change the things I can,
and wisdom
to know the difference.

I have been sitting here going over the things I have to do tomorrow. EEEK! there are not enough hours! Oh well, another prayer... I have this one by my bed.

"Lord, help me to remember
that there is nothing that is going to happen today (tomorrow)
that you and I, together
cannot handle."

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