I seem to have gotten myself in a bunch of trouble again and now folks are upset with me. Good...I'm doing just what the LORD has asked me to do.
Think I'm kidding? I only wish I was because the personal cost of this burden of using my own life, my faults, my mistakes, my miserable experiences as an example to others by writing this blog can be humiliating, humbling, painful and embarrassing. Especially when all the self appointed GUARDIANS of Christianity and The Church attack me for supposedly throwing fellow members under the bus.
Please read more carefully, my friends...the only one getting thrown under any bus around here....is ME. Multiple times....by the way. But hey...if it opens one's eyes and HEART then It's my great PLEASURE. That's the bottom line....if it helps folks...and the feedback I get emailed to me every day says it does then I am happy to do it.
Yesterday I wrote a post that admittedly was not one of my best works. I know that. But this subject matter (money, caring, communicating, honesty, reaching out for help and suicide, etc) is extremely difficult to get one's arms around and it has a tendency to make people misinterpret my entire point in addition to making them angry and defensive. They focus on the manner and not the matter. In other-words they don't like how I communicate it, they get defensive and they miss the point because of their emotion.
One rule here on Shell Shock Serenade and you can check this with the over 1800 previous posts...I never criticize anyone or anything on this page even remotely close to how many times I've criticized myself. And more often then not, I am criticizing myself here and my own behavior or reaction...not somebody else's behavior or reaction.
I got wordy yesterday so I will try to narrow this down. Jesus said in Mathew 22:36-40 -
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So he said "Love thy neighbor as thyself" ....And that my friends is in essence what I am talking about here. When someone is communicating their hurt, do not let the subject matter overwhelm reason and negatively color what they are saying.
I was specifically writing yesterday about money, medical bills and being in debt. I am in extreme debt do to my year-long medical issues. I need to talk about that, otherwise I will hold it in, isolate and frankly, it is so troubling me that I could decide I don't want to live anymore.
But the moment I bring it up, people automatically think I am asking them for money. the responses have become tiresome and predictable:"They say they don't have a magic wand or they tell me in great wisdom that one can't put a price on their health. They will give me such sage advice like only pay $10 a month and tell them that is all you have, what can they do?"
I'll tell you what they do, they call every 10 minutes from 7a until 10pm seven days a week. They called and harressed my 80 something year old parents, one guy calling my mother a "Mother-F***ing Bitch" for raising me. The putting a price on your health is a clever line but I don't need to put a price on my health...the hospital, Insurance Companies and the Doctors AREADY HAVE...and they want it YESTERDAY and will get Collection Agencies to do their dirty work for them.
This is my point: I don't want nor need advice or jokes...there is NOTHING remotely funny about any of this. I do not need a lecture about how to be responsible with my money...I AM responsible with it...I have bills and I am trying to pay them like I am supposed to. I did nothing wrong except apparently get hurt. I did not mis-manage or overspend my money...no I paid or tried to pay my bills.
Lastly....I am NOT telling you this to make you feel guilty...I am in no way asking for money from you. Just your friendship and love. Just listen.....it is important for people who are hurting to be able to vent this stuff.
People talk about starting caring ministry's at church...stop talking about it and do it. I have a friend who once was an Elder in our church, he has a caring ministry and doesn't even realize it: It is very simple and critically important...he takes people like me who are hurt to their doctor's appointments...any time, any place.
It takes little true effort and NO money actually if you want to Love Your Neighbor...just care and help out. Maybe they are lonely...go for a chat and a coffee. Shovel a driveway....just take the time to call a shut-in a couple times a week.Folks we complicate this when we do not need to. Just do IT.
Lastly...people do not have to pretend to be perfect or something we are not. This is one of my favorite quotes from Pastor Kyle Idelman's Ministry, Notafan:
What Christ wants in a follower: Someone who isn’t pretending on the outside to have it all together. That’s one of the ways the word hypocrisy is defined, as “the act of pretending.”
I couldn't agree more....