Divine Loneliness: An Excerpt from my Journal

I read my journals after I finish writing on their last pages before putting them away. This journal was particularly heavyhearted. It spans the beginning of a grief process to a hospitalization. This entry was written in the throes of an existentialist faith crisis that I’m still wading through. Needless to say, it’s dark. Though dark, it speaks to something that I’m finding to be true about how I experience God and the world. It’s not polished.  It is the stream of consciousness brought out through journaling. I’ve done little to change the format so it reads as strangely as it spilled from my head to the page. I hope it sparks something in you, dear reader, whatever that something is. Here we go: Continue reading “Divine Loneliness: An Excerpt from my Journal”

What Support Looks Like

People want to be helpful. We especially want to help our friends. Their distress calls to us and we want to be there to do all that we can to help. Few of us, though, understand what that looks like. We throw out statements like, “If you need anything, let me know” and “I’m here to support you.” I want to highlight something very important: these statements are empty; they have no concrete meaning without an explanation or context.

I once tried to talk to someone who offered “anything I needed” about the exhaustion of managing loss day-to-day. I was met with so much awkwardness that I had to make light of it and change the subject. If there’s one thing I don’t want to do while I’m feeling low, it’s manage another person’s awkwardness around my mental state. That awkwardness makes me want to hide how I’m feeling from those I care about and only talk about it with my therapist. This may be what a lot of other people want for me to do. But I’m going to assume good intentions of those offering support by thinking they genuinely want to help.

The problem might be that they just don’t know how. Continue reading “What Support Looks Like”

A Sermon: With You in the Dark

This is the sermon I gave at First Church Cambridge on January 4th, 2015. I will give this a trigger warning for talk of suicide and depression. Please read with care:

Verve Coffee Roasters sits on the corner that separates the two streets with the heaviest foot traffic in Santa Cruz, CA. I began writing this sermon while there, sipping my afternoon coffee, nestled into my favorite window seat watching the people pass by on the Front Street side of the cafe. I can recall the early years of Verve, before it opened the Santa Cruz location, when I had to go the seven miles to Capitola to treat myself to a coffee better than what I could brew at home. Being the coffee snob that I am, it’s hard for me to find something I’m willing to go out of my way for, but that cafe was special. I met my friend Britt there. Continue reading “A Sermon: With You in the Dark”