A God deaf to my appeals

I have written countless Gospel commentaries and preached countless homilies over the years and I have always done my best to offer them as Good News. Challenging, consoling, uplifting words.

But I am coming up short now.

Tomorrow’s readings are all about perseverance in prayer. Keep on knocking on the door, and eventually God will answer. Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives, the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will have the door opened to them.

Except it’s not the case.

I have asked and I have sought and I have knocked – and there has been no response from on high. Many others have asked and sought and knocked on my behalf too – and have found only silence. Candles burning to the quick, prayers unheeded, the door left firmly closed. After two years of hell, my pain is more intense and more deeply rooted than ever. My despair beyond despair.

In my old pre-pain, preaching days, I would have found ways to explain or make sense of this silence from beyond. God will answer in God’s own good time, God knows what’s best for us, God’s ways are not our ways. 

Maybe that’s true, except that’s not what tomorrow’s readings promise. All I know from long, painful experience is that the God to whom I have dedicated my life has been dead to my appeals, and, whatever about miserable me, God has been dead to the appeals of my saintly mother and my aunts and of so many, many others.

All I am left with are tears. I’m not even sure that it’s worth my while screaming with the psalmist, “Out of the depths I cry to thee, O Lord,” for all I seem to encounter is the sound of silence.

One devastating week

The last week has been hell. I don’t know what I did or why it happened, but there has been an incredible increase in pain (from a five out of ten to seven or eight out of ten) and I cannot cope. It’s as if the fusion has come loose or the graft has pulled away, except I’m sure it hasn’t. But something has happened that feels like a knife has been plunged into the base of my back and is shooting daggers down my legs. Strong medication doesn’t even temper it. 

I love life and I don’t want it to end, but the life I am living right now has no quality, no happiness or joy. There is only sadness and tears. I don’t want to live if this is what my life will be.

All I look forward to is being knocked out. My happiest moment of the day is when I take my sleeping pill. I know I will enjoy a few pain-free hours before the pain nags me awake again, and I have to endure another twenty four hours of misery. 

Though family, community and friends offer support and solidarity, I have nowhere to turn. The medics either don’t know what to do with me or probably consider me a crank. I feel lost and beaten. 

The last two years have seemed like twenty. In so many ways, my life ended two years ago, only I didn’t stop breathing and my heart kept beating. The only thing I am grateful for is that I was there for my dad at his end, and there for my mother in her grief.

I am tired of pain and constipation and doctors and pills and hospitals. I am tired of disappointment heaped on disappointment.

I am tired of moaning and whining and self-pity. 

I am tired.