Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Poor me

So my lovely wife has been gone for some 24 hours now--off visiting lovely friends and family on the east coast of the U.S., and due back next Tuesday, and I seem to be having a rather adverse reaction. Keep finding myself crying. Seems a bit extreme, actually. I'm thinking this latest is just the exacerbation of a bunch of other stuff. that's been going on for a little while now. Even though I'm not a Christian anymore, I still found a tiny bit of comfort in Mr. Spurgeon's "The Minister's Fainting Fits". My thanks to my brilliant father in law David, who introduced this to me. An excerpt:

As to mental maladies, is any man altogether sane? Are we not all a little off the balance? Some minds appear to have a gloomy tinge essential to their very individuality; of them it may be said, "Melancholy marked them for her own;" fine minds withal, and ruled by noblest principles, but yet most prone to forget the silver lining, and to remember only the cloud. Such men may sing with the old poet (Thomas Washbourne.)

"Our hearts are broke, our harps unstringed be,
Our only music's sighs and groans,
Our songs are to the tune of lachrymœ,
We're fretted all to skin and bones."

These infirmities may be no detriment to a man's career of special usefulness; they may even have been imposed upon him by divine wisdom as necessary qualifications for his peculiar course of service. Some plants owe their medicinal qualities to the marsh in which they grow; others to the shades in which alone they flourish. There are precious fruits put forth by the moon as well as by the sun. Boats need ballast
as well as sail; a drag on the carriage-wheel is no hindrance when the road runs
downhill. Pain has, probably, in some cases developed genius; hunting out the soul which otherwise might have slept like a lion in its den. Had it not been for the broken wing, some might have lost themselves in the clouds, some even of those choice doves who now bear the olive-branch in their mouths and show the way to the ark. But where in body and mind there are predisposing causes to lowness of spirit, it is no marvel if in dark moments the heart succumbs to them;

Also helpful in the past have been Ecclesiastes including

So I congratulated the dead who are already dead instead of the living who are still alive. But luckier than the dead or the living is the person who has never even been, who has never seen the bad business that takes place on this earth
and George Macdonald (From Diary of an Old Soul, February 25):

There is a misty twilight of the soul,
A sickly eclipse, low brooding o'er a man,
When the poor brain is as an empty bowl,
And the thought-spirit, weariful and wan,
Turning from that which yet it loves the best,
Sinks moveless, with life-poverty opprest:--
Watch then, O Lord, thy feebly glimmering coal.

Do have any literature you turn to when you feel this way?


Joe said...

No, but if you find anything good, please suggest it. I am going to be sans wife and kid for 10 days at home from next weekend.

Justin said...

I've had that. I've had three separate months away from my wife. For me its been the damn Pacific.

I know that you are 'not a Christian anymore' (although I'm still not sure I fully believe you, but that's for another time...)

But if you enjoy Spurgeon, you must appreciate Paul.

So mine would be:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the 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.

And more HERE.

Benjamin Ady said...

Justin--you the man. Thankyou for sharing your favorite. I think of Paul as perhaps the major lens through which we get a distorted view of Jesus. Or something. So I guess I'm a bit biased.

God doesn't comfort me, in my experience. Other people comfort me. I mean some people would say god should get the credit somehow for the comfort I get from other people, and I wouldn't necessarily argue with them. =)

Anonymous said...

"Lord, ... you know when i sit and when i rise; you perceive my thoughts from are famililiar with all my ways...if i say ' surely the darkness will hide me, and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you, for darkness is as light to you ... for you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother;s womb ... i praise you because i am fearfully and wonderfully made.' Psalm 139, well bits of! Rhea H

Anonymous said...

i have lost my password to log on as dragon's fly!

Benjamin Ady said...


thankyou for sharing your comfort passage.

Long time no see! I've wondered that you haven't posted to dragon's fly in so long. Try this page to get your password back

Megs said...

darling one! i'm sorry you felt so sad! i had that spurgeon on my bedpost in perth, just before coming to logos 2, and quoted it in the first article i wrote for them!

my literary comforts include:
chaim potok - all his novels
jrr tolkien tlotr
cs lewis - narnia
lm montgomery - rainbow valley, anne ogg
celtic daily prayer
psalm 91

and musical
les miserables
the sound of music
van morrison

i love YOU
thanks for boston and maine and salem! for you made it possible!
glad to return to your loving, strong, surrounding arms!
your m