I’m wondering how it feels for you?

One of my favorite movies is “Once.” Even better is its soundtrack. I have listened to this album countless times. I am always moved by its beauty and hunger in the midst of complex emotions.

I would like to think I am a person comprised of complex emotions and a dynamic zeal for life. I would also like to imagine myself as a debonair, game playing sort of fella but that is utter fantasy.

I am who I am. I am not surprised that my heart visits the song “Say It To Me Now” again and again. I have been very stressed out these last few months. I am entering my fifth month of unemployment. Being unemployed has forced me in to conversations and realities that have been very difficult. I have had to fully redefine who and what I am in light of this call upon my life.

The very fabric I fashioned my masculinity from has been torn and the role I have been trained in since birth, the provider, has fallen away. The adopted and learned roles of spiritual director and minister have faced uncertainty at best and have encountered indigestible doubt at worst.

I listened to the words to this song again,

Scratching at the surface now
And I’m trying hard to work it out
And so much has gone misunderstood
This mystery only leads to doubt
And I’m looking for a sign
In this dark uneasy time

So if you have something to say
Say it to me now

And I’m not trying to pass the buck
I’m just trying to get a better look
And I’m wondering how it feels for you
Now that the shoe is on the other foot
And I didn’t understand
When you reached down to take my hand

And if you have something to say
You’d better say it now

Cause this is what you’ve waited for
A chance to even up the score
And as these shadows fall on me now
I will somehow
Cause I’m clearing up this wreckage Lord
And there’s more than you’ve ever seen before

So if you have something to say
Say it to me now


I have found myself bartering with God. If you do/allow/give/provide X I will do/not do/be better at Y. Come on God you got to give a little to get a little. And God knows I have little to give. The days following my departure from my last call were some of the darkest days of my life.

I read, “Dark Night of the Soul” by St. John of the Cross, to compare notes and hopeful awaken from my torment. It did not help me. I was an inconsolable mess. I made plans. I schemed. Nothing I tried offered relief from the crisis of the soul I was in.

I joked about it. I did all I could do but embrace it. I begged God for a way out, a way forward. I got nothing for months. I worked out. I have spent an average of 10-15 hours a week at the gym.

I tried volunteering with limited success. I wrote a little. I created a lot of art. I still asked God for answers.

With hope on the horizon I pray that whatever God is going to say that it be said now. I am beyond weary. I am beyond begging. I am beyond doubt. I am not sure I have any more depth to travel with or on. I dare not give up God. What would I be left with but a fool’s prize?

I love the ending of “Once” because it is a hard and real ending to a complex human problem. There is no neat, nice bow to wrap up the story. Some times life is suffering and the momentary glimpses of grace and love are worth it. Some time those momentary glimpses of grace fuel that insatiable appetite for more and we are never satisfied.

If I have learned anything in this process it would be that life is not a road map to be traveled in strict guidelines. Some days you will need to follow the map, some days you will be better to go off the map and travel by sight, and some days your vehicle will break down or the road you want to travel will be closed and there will always be a detour offered.

It may be time for me to accept the detour and be ok with the human condition that prompts the human ending.

2 thoughts on “I’m wondering how it feels for you?

  1. My experience is that when God takes something you love away, he’s making room for something bigger and better to take its place. I only know what you’ve shared here of your situation, but it seems to me that God is using you to bolster others through this trial in your life. Reading this blog tonight, I was reminded that I am blessed to have a job. That job happens to be it in a field I don’t really want to be working in, with a boss I’d rather not have, and making less money than my degree and other credentials say I’m worth. But it keeps a roof over my head and food in my stomach, which is more than many people have.

    One more thought…I know how hard it is to embrace a situation that seems negative from the human perspective. I also believe, without a doubt, that God is working in your life, working through this situation, and that in God’s time this will bear fruit. So you’ve been praying for a fig. Maybe God is giving you green beans instead. Embrace this as time you can spend with God, growing in your relationship, without the interruptions that a job brings.

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