Thursday, May 15, 2008

BEING AVAILABLE


"In your short life, you’ve lived a thousand times
You stood so brave, they robbed you blind
The truth is, there’ll be harder times
It’s okay to say you’re fine
But I’ll be waiting back behind (and)
you can make your troubles mine..."


On my drive to work this morning I grabbed some music to listen to that I have not heard for a few months. These lyrics are from the first song on the CD and they turn out to be very appropriate for this day. My oldest daughter was on my mind this morning in light of her High school graduation goings-on tonight and tomorrow. In her short life to this point she has been robbed blind many times and I am certain she is not without blame when it comes to having caused pain in other people's lives also. Thinking about all of this from many different angles also made me think of the Ellul quote in the post from Yesterday. Pain is just a part of life and we find ourselves in all kinds of different situations as the result of choices we make and also the choices of others. This is a reality we can not change. But we can be freed from the game and when that happens we can be available for others who are still caught up in it and hopefully help heal pain and not create more.

A few years ago, being available had been severely diminished by the fact that I was exhausted, distracted, overwhelmed and often angry. I had either lost what it is all about or maybe this is closer to the truth...I had never really known what it was all about. I actually at that time was a part of the pain. These words of Ellul seem to describe what my daughter is caught up in, what we all are caught up in until we are liberated from it. This perpetuates the game of being robbed blind and participating in robbing others blind.

"Man does not envisage for a minute, first of all, that the evil deed is most often the result of the liberty that God allows to Man and of the independence and autonomy that man has seized over against God. Man is responsible for what is done (and he has wished it), but he protests against God for what is done. In short, he would demand that God mechanize him and take his liberty from him."

The words that I pulled from the Ellery song so capture my relationship and experience with my daughter today. I have begun to feel, over the past couple years, available...really available for her and her sisters when before I couldn't be. I was trapped in the same game that they were. It had led me to be pissed off, and while pissed off, we can't be available for anyone. I was pissed off because I was trapped and my actions were proof of it. I had been swallowed and consumed by law and the enforcement of law. Like I said, my problem wasn't that I had lost what it was about, I had never understood it before. Life, the life we were created for is about freedom, freedom from the game everyone finds themselves trapped in. Law and the enforcement of law is just a part of the game and it will never lead us to freedom. Grace will though. Grace is about people when law is about ideology, usually an ideology that has been massaged to support one's personal agenda. And it was in my season of pain and awakening that I came face to face with the fact that law had left no space for grace of my own, so I had no grace to give. I had really never been available for anyone. Not really. Coming face to face with this reality was a good thing. Painful yes, but this pain is the pain that leads to freedom and begins to change everything.

So with these changes, today I feel as if I can face the reality that my daughters will face hard/painful times because they are surrounded by people who are not free from the game and they themselves are not free from the game yet either. But I believe their situation is made a bit better because I'm being set free from the game and can say to them...

"The truth is, there’ll be harder times
It’s okay to say you’re fine
But always remember I’ll be waiting back behind (and)
you can make your troubles mine..."

and that just feels like a healthy way for myself to collaborate with Father, Son, and Spirit in a way that will help bring the painful game to a close in their lives and hopefully others.



6 comments:

Sue said...

Awesome, dude. Freedom - it's very heady, isn't it :)

Kent said...

let's just say that freedom engages both the head and heart.

Jennifer said...

I think allowing pain to be present is THE hardest thing to accept in parenting. To feel the pain, but not retaliate, judge or hold a grudge.

There's a scene in the movie The Namesake where the teenage son is totally irritated by his father and really wants him to just go away. The father is deeply hurt, but he shows such kindness and respect to his son...it makes me cry every time. I'm looking for these examples more these days because I can see that the illusion of control is just that. I don't want control..or so I say...I want a relationship that allows the people around me to make mistakes and know that, like the song you quoted, they can make their troubles mine.

We people are just messy...there's no way around it, but I'd rather be in the mess giving and receiving than standing outside trying to clean everyone up.

Kent said...

'We people are just messy...there's no way around it, but I'd rather be in the mess giving and receiving than standing outside trying to clean everyone up.

Jennifer, standing outside trying to clean everyone up is a rough deadend road.

Jennifer said...

I agree, especially because none of us are in a position to do the clean up. I wonder how the Church ever took up that job?

Kent said...

"I wonder how the Church ever took up that job?"

Jennifer, the post I will be putting up tomorrow will in a way allude to this error that the Church continues to make and it will be a continuation of the post I made dealing with anarchy and the choice I have made and am learning to walk in.