Friday, January 16, 2009
More Thoughts on Isolation . . .
What is it about pain – emotional, physical, or mental – that makes most of us want to hide? I have withdrawn into myself, isolated myself, when I’ve not wanted others in my life to know how badly I was hurting, when I’ve not been able to talk to the “one” person that I thought could help me feel better. The single most important reason, though, has to be fear. I have isolated myself in fear that my pain and my reaction to my pain would be seen as weakness. What I find interesting is that I’m isolating myself not just from other people, from friends and relatives who love me, but also from God, from the Christ within me.
I know God can take whatever I want or need to dish out. Better than any friend or relative on earth! Somehow though, there’s a dynamic happening when I isolate myself. There’s a power play going on. I want to be in control of my pain. It seems silly right now – because I’m not in pain – but that’s it. I want to control how I manage my pain; I want the intimacy with a spouse or friend that is generated when we share emotions. Most of the time, though my spouse or my friends will listen and let me “vent” but not offer any concrete advice on how to get rid of the pain. God, on the other hand, expects me to work. Expects me to learn something from the lesson in front of me. Sometimes, that sucks! So even as I isolate myself, I attempt to wall off the part of Christ that I carry within me. Put earmuffs on him! I don’t want him to hear me. I definitely don’t want to hear what he might have to say! Yet, eventually, when I tire of carrying around whatever the burden might be, I take down the wall. I take off the earmuffs and I listen.
It’s when I listen to the part of Christ in my soul that I begin to hear the answer, a real answer to my problem. A way of resolving the pain, of letting go of the burden. Of learning the lesson that’s before me. The best part is, when I finally allow Christ to take control, it feels so good. Then the joy that I carry within my heart warms and begins to move again. I feel enlivened by the Holy Spirit and begin to see solutions, to feel the freedom that God wants each and every one of us to feel. Freedom. Release. Isaiah 61:1-3 – “. . . proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners . . .” This is what the Good News is all about. We, who are held captive to pain and isolation, separation from our Creator, have been liberated. We, who are prisoners to fear, have been released. Through the ministry of Jesus Christ, his death, and his resurrection, we have been freed to be as God created us to be: loving and fearless.