Thursday, March 4, 2010

soul, interrupted

a letter I wrote to a cherished friend some two years ago in the middle of the night:


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I think a hug would be the most appropriate transmitter of my gratitude and love from my heart to you. But, ahem, that damn ocean...

I'm touched that you would write such valuable letter to me. And, and, and, I feel like I don't have the right words to write back.

XXX, I'm just low and so wrong and I can't even be a person that interacts truthfully or in goodness. I don't know what to say or write that isn't a selfish, internal, discordant dialog of all the heavy thoughts in my head. I wish I could claim any corner of truth...but all I know is that tomorrow I will get up and go to school, see a friend, drink some soda and come home. And that's all I seem to be sure of!

I could critique my emotionalism, my neurosis, my dependencies and my sin, my all that isn't right and still be the same person as before.

I just want to be saved. But nothing brings that. God doesn't (well at least not when I ask him earnestly and repeatedly--though maybe it just need to be steady and faithfully ratcheted up [goodness knows I haven't tried those]). Paul doesn't. theology won't. professors, wikipedia articles, friends, chapel don't do anything lastingly.

Of course, Christ's death and resurrection save me but I can't believe that with my all. In truth, it pretty much just fits into my systematic theology--I have to believe it because it's a beam in this ideology.

It's like psychology and theology have neutered me of any of those human capacities that make for faith. I don't trust my psyche and certain writings make it so I have no trust in what I am pursuing. Did I start in the middle without a suitable grounding. do I need to go back to the beginning? where's that? (rhetorical questions all)

I still can't negotiate it. It's like there's a theory that eludes me, a resonating idea that will patch my weakened will so I can be like the others who write good words they mean and live lives of God. Again, I'm devoting my energies not to being good but to explaining why I'm not.

It's not vanity...but it is. I don't want people to think that I'm weak because I like it...but I do like it. The encouragements and the denunciations, I take them and don't reform.

XXX, I don't even know what my future looks like but I really can't imagine the fixed one...nor can I imagine the one lived with abandon, striving in the opposite direction--just as my sinning past infects the striving now, I would hope that holiness is just as an infecting contagion were I to strive in the opposite direction!] small hope!

what's step one? do I just go through the church-y motions? fake it 'til I make it? damn my individualistic sensibilities that make "matthew" believe he has a self that he is sovereign over? (I'm trying to imagine a philosophic answer!)

XXX, as one person who thinks and writes to another, I just want to thank you for reading this. The tangible, readable love of my friends is one of the few things that remind me of goodness and light and hope. Dynamic and real love in the faces and words of living people heartens me, warms the heart of the co-opted and masked sleepwalker on the road to hell I usually am. I want to be weak and vulnerable but people don't trust that--and they're mostly right not to do so.

XXX, sorry and thank you. thank you for being a light. These are all thank yous and nothing obligates you to me. I don't expect that and almost don't want to waste your time. There is certainly a different language I could have written to you in but I chose this. It's not easy but that person who writes that way doesn't need fixing (he doesn't stay fixed); this one does.

If there is love that a broken person may muster, I send it to you,

hitting send button with tomorrow (separation of self into multiple parts is false, huh?) will not be happy...