Preface for "Reflections on PERELANDRA"
I'm not really sure how much of my personal life I want to talk about on this blog. I guess inasmuch as it applies to my thinking on my faith or my art. I know it won't be a static thing and will change as my life changes (and yes, I did look up the correct spelling of "inasmuch" before I typed it.)
So I've been doing some comfort reading the last few weeks. It takes the place of comfort food for me... ok, let's be real, sometimes comfort food accompanies the comfort reading... Anyway, "comfort reading." For me, that means going back to those books and authors that lead me back to where I plainly see God's glory and that this life isn't what it's all about. These are the books that open my eyes, wake me up again.
This latest bought of comfort reading was brought on by a seriously stressful mid-July that culminated with having to cancel our summer trip to Maryland, get Liam back into therapy, and deal with the fact that our relatively new, but much loved dog has a tumor that we are not able to treat due a variety of reasons. Added to this are other situations with people I care about including a friend's mom - someone who was a part of my every day life growing up - going into hospice only a few months after being diagnosed with very aggressive cancer. Things got a worse and that friend's mom died Saturday. Which immediately put my "stress" into perspective. It didn't lessen our sadness in dealing with our own circumstances. But it did, definitely, put them into perspective.
Having things put into perspective for you is a good thing. It's a healthy thing. It helps you see that yours isn't the only life with sad or hard or stressful circumstances. And for the most part we can't really change or fix these kinds of circumstances. Realizing that helps you let go of it a little. It brings you out of yourself and helps you understand, once again, that we live in a fallen world. None of it is personal, no matter how very personal it feels. Or maybe the exact opposite of that is true to the extreme - it's all personal because we are His and there are powers and principalities that do not like that. At all.
So having written all of that, let me say this: God is good. All the time. Either we believe it or we don't. You can't "kind of" believe it. Or believe it's true sometimes and not others. It's hard to admit God is good and your life can still suck. It seems like then maybe God doesn't care? Or you're not as important to Him as someone whose life is rambling along ok? Don't fall into that thinking. If nothing else go read some firsthand accounts of life in war-torn countries, places where lives are steeped in poverty with not much chance of change... it'll give you some perspective. Not to put you in your place and shut you up or make you stop whining. But to give you strength to keep wading through your own situation. To give you courage and some hope.
That's my purpose for comfort reading. Perspective, realignment... hope and courage to keep going.