Seeing 20/20

Those who know me know that I enjoy writing and sharing year-end reflections on the Eve of a new year. But this year in particular, it’s been hard to find the right words. So, I hope you’ll forgive me for my prose-poetic stream-of-consciousness half-prayer, half-lament—it’s perhaps the only thing I feel capable of mustering up at the moment. Though in many ways I am still grieving 2020 (perhaps you are, too), I wish you a Happy New Year and eagerly await our vaccinated embrace. Joy shall come.  

With Love,



“O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
    and by night, but I find no rest.”[1]
MY faith, shattered and broken, insufficient to carry me through bouts of nihilism. The loss of hope in a friend’s eyes when he confesses that he wishes he could believe, he wants so bad to believe, yet the Resurrected does not resurrect his reason, and in that moment I feel my faith not strong enough for the either of us. I am on my knees, coming to the end of myself, but God all I want to know is the Truth; the capital-T Truth that stands as firm as the laws of Physics or the elegant solution to an algebra problem, back when “x = “ still had a correct answer. It seems as if no one can agree on Truth these days, whether it’s politics or religion or climate or science or love or life or masks or color or race or justice or morality or …
GOD, I’ve started to weep without knowing why, my body is grieving all that has come this year and all that is still unresolved: Our aches and groans and shivers for want of redemption. Our deep divisions, chaos, the hatred in the streets and in our hearts. It seems that there is no relief in our time of collective suffering and trauma.
MY body may be six feet apart from the rest of society but my soul feels six thousand miles away. Anxious, tired, and burnt out—I just want to touch my friends again. To hold each other and cry, to see genuine smiles, to hear gut-wrenching laughter. But instead I am stuck inside working three feet away from where I sleep, visiting the same three news websites again and again, trying to count three blessings a day but instead resort to eating three packets of raw ramen noodles when no one else is around to see me, because in the moment that is the only thing that pacifies my anxiety.
WHY is our world filled with so much beauty and so much horror? That morality and depravity, selfishness and selflessness coexist within the same flesh? Some days I shudder at the absurdity of it all: that beautiful sunsets and magnificent waterfalls coexist on this planet with devastating earthquakes and wretched tsunamis. That the same species that created art and wrote symphonies is equally capable of rape and murder. That love and hate can come from the same human heart, that sometimes we catch a glimpse of Heaven and other times all we can see is Hell.
A child’s drawing
HAVE we forgotten the basic fact that all men were created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with the Imago Dei, the Image of God? That they have intrinsic dignity and value? So explain to me why it is so hard for some to see that Black Lives Matter?  Why we stand quarreling instead of weeping over the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery? How is it that our world is still so racist, so blind in 2020, so upside down that enforcers of justice would become perpetrators of the very injustice that they were hired to prevent? Deep down I know that even “justice” for these Precious Black Souls will not bring them back from the dead, just as the execution of a man does not right the wrong that he committed many years ago. And so, my heart continues to long for Peace and Harmony in our ravaged world…but…
YOU know, maybe we weren’t created for this world. Maybe the inconsolable longings in our hearts for Justice and Peace hint at the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we were never meant to hurt each other, that pain and suffering were not supposed to be a part of our human experience. So…if I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.[3] Yet, knowing this still doesn’t help that I sometimes feel
FORSAKEN…I can barely see the light that You promised, my eyesight blurry with the tears I’ve shed, and can’t you see all I want is some comfort? At times I find myself echoing Wiesel; I promise I never divorced You. It is because I believed in You that I was angry at You. So why, at times, does it feel that the tragedy of the believer is deeper than the tragedy of the non-believer? [4]
Doesn’t Israel mean “to wrestle with God?” I am trying my best to wrestle for the Truth, because I still believe that you are the God who leaves the ninety-nine to save the one, who promises to be with us in our sufferings, who so loved us that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [5]
They say that faith is a crutch for weak people, but I’m so damn weak I need a stretcher.[6]
So God, won’t you please help
ME? Help me believe Your promises when I don’t. Help me to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind. Help me love my neighbor as myself.[7] Save me from myself, from my own selfishness and pride; help me to do justice, to love kindness, and walk humbly with my God.[8] Help me to never point out the speck in others’ eyes until I have taken out the log in my own eye.[9]
Abba, I plead my vision replaced by your revision.
I long for Justice,
Yahweh, our longings will never be fully satisfied on this Earth—at best, we yearn; at worst, we numb. So give us strength to wait in the tension of what already is and what is not yet come. Forgive our faith for being too small, our sight for being too shallow. Walk with us into the new year, and give us Your peace, which surpasses all understanding.[11]
“Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.”[12]
Sunrise, South Padre Island

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