Saturday, January 01, 2005


I remember once, when I was a kid, my mom cleaning up after one of my emotional break-downs. I have no idea what it was about, but I remember her suggesting that maybe I should stop watching 60 Minutes.

I have never watched the movie Titanic, and I have never seen Saving Private Ryan, or Schindler's List, or The Passion of Christ. I started reading The Hiding Place, and I had to stop.

Stories of real-life tragedies, especially on a massive scale, paralyze me, emotionally.

I read an article, a while back, about a woman in Sudan whose home was invaded by the JanjaWeed while her whole family was asleep. Her husband was killed. She and her children ran and were separated in the ensuing chaos. The woman, who was interviewed in a refugee camp, said that she didn't know where her children were, but hoped to find them.

I read the article because I thought I needed to be informed. It haunted me for weeks. I kept trying to imagine what that would be like. The problem is, I am a wanna-be empathizer AND a perfectionist. So, I had to KEEP imagining, thinking, and reenacting in my mind, because I knew that whatever I came up with would fall woefully short. Result: depression and despair.

So, I just can't look at this stuff anymore - including all this tsunami stuff. Especially those friggin' pictures of little boys Bug's age, who stare at the camera like "what the hell is going on?" I feel guilty for not looking, or reading the gorey details - like somehow I am making light of what has happened, but I just haven't figured out how to "get around myself" and take this stuff in without becoming depressed. (There is a voice in my head saying "what is a little depression compared to all that these people have suffered?" But I don't think that is a rational voice, since my depression won't accomplish anything.)

But, I am trying to turn my neuroses into something productive.

So, I have been thanking God, lately, a little more for all I have. There are no words for how blessed I am. I am loving on my kids more... they are so indescribably precious... and trying to fend off the thoughts that bombard me at times like this, about how completely grief-stricken I would be if I lost one of them, or how difficult it would be for them if they lost me.

And, I pray for all these people in Asia. This is hard too, because I have always tried to imagine the situation so I can pray more effectively. I've cried a few times to God about it (which, I guess, is more productive than crying to myself.) There are definitely some obvious, concrete things to pray for. But when it comes to healing the people's pain, the only thing I can say is Please, God, please..........


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