Open Eyes

This might as well be labeled an insomnia blog because most of what I write is done on nights like these when I finally decide to sit upright using my pillow as a pad for my back and channel my exhausted frustration, weakness, and loneliness into words that heal and remind me of my purpose.  This is mainly the blog of an insomniac.  There are many things that I’ve learned as one who struggles from time to time with falling asleep at night, but namely I’ve learned how it is to suffer.  It’s humbled me quite a bit.  A day with oxygen in my lungs is worthy of praise.  Before I had insomnia I didn’t realize how blessed it is to simply wake up and breathe—how wonderful it is to be living even in a world as broken as this.  Part of me wonders if God is trying to tell me something on nights like these.  I wish it was as simple as seeing a shooting star—a sign that God is still here and a reminder that God has not forgotten me.  But, I must admit to myself that all I’ve seen for these years of open eyes is the sheer darkness of my room.

If we theologize from experience it’s no wonder that I’ve developed a disconnect from God.  A part of me weeps on nights like these because I see myself as someone who’s failed.  I don’t know how exactly, but something about being an insomniac makes me feel like somewhere down the line I did something profoundly wrong to mess up my rhythms of slumber.  But from what I read in scripture, it’s the broken that God sits with at night.  This is precisely what made Jesus so provocative.  He was not your average rabbi.  He chose disciples who were full of flaws and used them as living testimonies to God’s kingdom.  He taught them to sit and have meals with sinners.  He taught them the power of living life together because the reality is that God wants all of us together.

I think about this often and it doesn’t make sense how God could be this good to desire a relationship with us all and to live with us in the Kingdom.  But, how could I say no to that?  I’ve weighed the pros and cons for a while now and there’s nothing inherently adverse about that except the fact that God calls us to a path of suffering, a path that leads to the cross.  Of course this would be a faith of dead ends if this path of suffering ending in suffering, but Christ tells us otherwise.  He says the path of the Suffering Servant doesn’t end in death, but that God chooses to vindicate it and restores his creation, which becomes manifest in his kingdom.  So, maybe these nights are my way of carrying my cross—God’s way of giving me the opportunity to pick up and carry the faith that God’s power is revealed in our weakness.

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