Listening to and watching R.E.M.’s Imitation of Life and I get this rather encouraging email; it’s just so timely. Quickly after replying I’m brought to tears. It’s been a personally difficult time. Lots of ups but some pretty woeful downs, not to mention an unprecedented, inexplicable and “unprovoked” struggle with anxiety. All’s good. Sure. No, not really. But, God’s got a fantastic way of breaking through at precisely the right time—that time we can only ever appreciate post-event.
Music does it for me; brings me to such clean emotion. The melody deepens experience. Since a dark time six years ago now I’ve found the absolute depths of emotion actually a preferred place to be. There is indeed such a comfort in resting with God, not needing to run from my emotions and just be-ing. I actually love being overcome. I’ve fallen in love with the depths with God; music simply augments this.
God brings me to a place in his sanctuary of gently reassuring feedback. He speaks most personally in that, if not watching on, soothing and comforting... in ways that can’t be described, ever. It takes a true man or a true woman to stand up or lie down, accepting the incomprehensible ministry of the Spirit of God sweeping over, through and totally within their being. The depths are profoundly paradoxical; an entirely lovely place to be.
No matter who we are, we always like to help. Sometimes we really don’t know how we’ve helped. It’s all a mystery, but a sweet one. Helping is a godly function and even those not practicing a belief in God or spirituality engage in this when love rules their hearts. Even at times for a moment.
I’d give a lifetime of boring, emotionless days to have one dark day with the Lord my God. It sounds ridiculous but this is the centrality of Jesus, turning the tables again, yet not of the temple, but of my heart—stricken, yet not completely overwhelmed. The Captain of my soul waives the rights of the devil in the instant; rites of passage are granted him not. Eternal protection, even in that moment, is afforded. The Holy Spirit pervades and welcomely so.
What I do, I do because I have to. It’s central to my identity. It’s what God has drawn me inextricably to. For the comfort I once received (and continue to)—and miraculously at that—I want everyone ailing to know this same comfort. It’s there and it’s real! God is for us; he’s for the humble-of-heart and the emotionally-crushed, always. That might be “you” right now. It’s “someone” everywhere.
A benediction seems appropriate for moments like these. This one below encourages us to reach out in just the way we ourselves have been comforted and encouraged:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
—2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV).
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.