Crushed in Spirit

I woke up this morning with a heaviness I can only explain as a great sadness, not for myself, but for the world. So many are sick and dying, so many are hurting, so many are angry, so many are misguided and so many like me feel lost and unsure and there’s even some who are lost but don’t even know it yet.  It leaves me with such a feeling of sadness, a feeling of heaviness that I don’t know how to bear.

I have no idea why this morning this seemed so strong and present.  Usually, I can push it aside but this morning it was just there, tears just beneath the surface waiting to fall.  

As I woke, I heard an ever-present sigh from myself… After about an hour of these sighs, I got up and figured I’d put that breathing to work with some yoga and though I did feel more peaceful, the sadness did not go away.

I’ve been going to a beautiful trail nearby to walk in the mornings and today I took time to really take in my surroundings, the beauty that was all around me, the quietness and the sounds of nature in it.  I had planned on stopping at the end to sit on a bench and just resting there, just meditating and listening but someone else had the same idea so here I am sitting out on the patio instead.

I love the birdsong and the buzz of the cicadas but as I listen, tears continue to come to the surface and spill down my cheeks.  I realize that the anger and hurt I’ve been feeling for some time now is really love gone unknown, unaccepted, unrecognized.  I guess… it’s a broken heart.

Suddenly the words I’ve read too many times at funeral and memorial services have new meaning, 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

Always before, as I read these words,I thought of those suffering loss of a loved one but today I realize that it is so much more than that.  

The brokenhearted, the crushed in spirit… I realized as I read it today that I am crushed in spirit, that is where my struggle has been.  

A spirit crushed by the hate that has been so prominent in the world today, by the lack of compassion I see too often, by the blaspheme I see from those who seem to have no idea.  

Yeah, my spirit is crushed.  I’ve been lost, I still am, but today, as I ran across this verse and began to quote it by heart I was comforted to remember that God is close by to me, feeling every tear with me.  God is beside me weeping with me.  God knows my heart and the pain I feel and suffers it with me.  

So often I feel all alone but God is here in the midst of all this chaos, holding my hand, walking with me – in the anger, in the sadness, in the disbelief – God is there, God is here.

I know that I am not going to change the world, I’m most likely not even going to change much in my little sphere of influence but my friend, if you feel like me, if you are crushed in spirit this day, if you are brokenhearted by the world, please know, you are not alone.  

It’s okay to cry for this world and for humanity, it’s okay to get mad and scream and cuss, it’s also okay to pause and listen to nature go on all around you.  Birds still sing, cicadas still buzz, flowers still bloom, grass still grows, the sun still shines, the moon still rises.  

Feel all the feels.  Jesus did.  He felt anger, sadness, frustration.  Kinda nice to remember that.  I’m not even kind of comparing myself to Jesus but it is nice to remember that in his humanity he felt some of the same ways as me.  Nice to remember that no, I’m not alone and that this too will pass… I hope anyway.

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