I watched the Robin Hood movie again last night.
No, seriously? Russell Crowe.
I love the quote from there…
About rising and rising again?
Yeah… “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.” That really resonates with me.
I can see why. So are you rising and rising again?
Hardly. More like “fall and fall again.”
Why is that?
The conversations I have had with just about everybody this week (what few there were) were like taking a bath in decades-old sludge.
I take it you mean your sludge.
Yeah. It’s so hard to describe. But I feel the ugliness, the horror of it all over again. The shame.
That was a long time ago.
Yeah, but for some reason it’s as real as if it just happened yesterday. It feels like an identity I have picked up.
What sort of identity?
Scum. I feel like scum. A complete reject in this town, and anywhere else where people would know me.
Okay, well let’s just order you some business cards. Let’s announce to the world that your new job title is “Scum of the Earth.”
So am I. Look, I don’t mean to make light of your rough week. You and God both know, I’ve been there…
Putrid. That’s a good word to describe how I feel.
Yep. Shamefully putrid.
But what about the hope you said you were clinging to a week ago?
I’m a joke to hope.
What about all that grace you were celebrating?
Oh, I’m definitely a trophy of grace… all covered in vomit.
Wow. There’s a lovely image.
You talked about accepting God’s acceptance of me.
Today I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to accept God’s acceptance of me.
So you’d rather just live life on your own terms? You’re in charge again? You’ve got it all under control?
Ha! Wouldn’t say that. I am willing to accept how powerless I am. And how unmanageable my life has become.
Awesome. That’s the First Step.
It’s the last as far as I’m concerned. Hey, you know of any One Step groups?
Well, the next one starts with “came to believe that God…” I just don’t think God would really want to waste any more time with me. It’s Samson all over again. Or maybe Saul. Bring me the damned sword and let’s just get this over with.
That’s not funny.
But I see your point, even if I’m not feeling the same pain.
Part of it is fatigue, I’m sure.
You do look exhausted.
Other than me, are you connecting with anybody else?
Nope. Don’t want to, and I’m sure the feeling’s mutual.
So you’re isolating?
I guess. I feel forgotten… and wasted. I loathe myself, and I’m pretty sure the rest of the world agrees.
But you have so much to offer. And you’re forgetting what a difference you’ve made in so many people’s lives.
Thanks for saying that. But the idea of offering myself as the solution to anybody’s anything is like putting on a clown suit at a funeral. At best it’s just not a fit. At worst, it’s a sick joke.
I think in your heart you know better than that.
(Sigh…) I know better… I know better.
So have you ever heard the full quote about rising again?
Take Every Stone
The Bigots of This World
Cast Against You,
And Use Them
To Build My Church
In This World.
And when they seek
to oppress you
And when they try
to destroy you,
Rise and Rise again
Like The Phoenix
from the ashes
Until the Lambs
have become Lions
and the Rule of Darkness
is no more.
Time to rise again.
I don’t feel like getting up again.
I didn’t ask you how you felt. Are you going to let the “bigots of this world” have the last word about you?
Let ‘em. Let the enemies rejoice. Let them taunt. Let them disgrace me. They can’t say more than I’ve said to myself.
But they can say more than what is true.
Hey, facts are facts and there ain’t no denying the facts.
No, but there’s a difference between the facts and the truth.
I feel depressed. Plain and simple, depressed.
Well there’s the surprise of the day.
I feel like a castaway.
You’ve switched movies.
What? Oh. Yeah. I’m hearing the theme song in my head. And I’m seeing it played out in my life.
Stop peeing on your heart.
What do you mean?
This whole conversation has been about you, as if you’re living on that same deserted island where Tom Hanks was. And the only person doing the accusing, the only person doing the blaming, and the only person who can change any of that is you! But once you do, you’ll find a whole world of people who would do anything to help you.
But I don’t feel…
Your feelings are lying to you and calling themselves facts.
So what am I supposed to do?
If you want to soak in Cast Away, start there.
What do you mean?
Well, there’s more than one way to look at those words… Cast Away from the shore and set sail…“Don’t Cast Away your confidence, wherein is great recompense of reward…”
That’s in the Bible?
Yeah, it’s in the Bible. Think about the word “cast.” A cast covers a broken bone. And let’s face it, you have some broken places that have been put into a cast.
That’s the truth.
But it’s not for your eternal misery – it’s for your healing.
A cast is a group of actors in a play or movie. You’ve been describing your life as if your whole story is a monologue.
Shut up a minute and listen. The story of your life has an epic cast of characters. And some of them may not be in this scene, and the ones who are may appear to be angry or disappointed or may not understand you. But by God, they’re there! And they aren’t going anywhere. And if you’ll just let them in, and maybe give some of them a little time, you’ll feel connected again.
And how do I start? To be honest, I’m scared.
To connect? I get it. That’s where casting comes in again… to cast is to throw something… most commonly a fishing lure or net.
Cast for connection?
Cast for connection.
But I’ve tried that, and nobody’s responding.
What do you think I’m doing?
You’re kicking my butt.
Yeah and I’m not done. First of all, I don’t really believe you’re doing that much casting for connection. But let’s assume for a minute you have, and nobody’s responding. I would suggest you try Jesus’ advice.
Fish on the other side of the boat.
You mean reach out to new people?
Sure. Why not? Some of the most meaningful relationships you ever make will be with the people who walked into your life when others were walking away.
I guess I can try that.
It also may mean trying new things.
Or maybe taking care of things I’ve let flounder?
Sure. But what it doesn’t mean is staying on your little deserted island singing “I am a man of constant sorrow” to yourself.
Look at you with the movie references.
Look at you with a world of hope and life and joy in front of you.
You really think so?
Rise and rise again, my friend.
Until lambs become lions?
Until lambs become lions.
I should hire you as my therapist.
You can’t afford me.
Related articles across the web
Elsewhere on LifeVesting