Honest frustration at my own depression
Today we had to teach Sunday School to Kindergartners because the regular teachers were unavailable. I have, in the past, been thankful for my God given gift to share with, talk with and enjoy teaching and being with children. Ever since living in West Plains I’ve wondered if God is showing me that what I have felt previously has been pride instead of thankfulness. You see, I just don’t seem to get along with the children as I did when I lived in Salt Lake City. Sure I did have my challenges then, but there was a sense of reward when there was a breakthrough with these difficult children, and there usually was one. Here though, I meet roadblocks in every path I take toward using the gift I believe God has given me.
So today one of the boys called me fat, and he wouldn’t let it go. I know I’m not the skinniest person around, but I’m not as bad as I could be. I have also had kids call me fat at other times and places before this. But this kid kept bringing it up. I was pleased when a couple of the kids said that wasn’t very nice. Near the end he did it again. I was done. So I easily spiraled myself down into the comfortable yet frustrating mode of depression. I shut myself down.
It wasn’t the fact that someone was calling me fat or even the age of this person, but the fact that I know the parents. My wife and I were in a class with the parents. This class was very, very segregated between those who have lived in West Plains all their life, and those who didn’t. There weren’t enough seats on the West Plains natives side, so these people came and sat behind us. You must understand that I am not the most social person around, but at this point in my life I had resolved to be more so. Because that is how we are to be as Christians, right? After all the world will know us be our love and that can’t happen if we don’t deny self and struggle against barriers self-imposed for our own “security”. Anyway, I introduced myself and tried to chat them up a bit. After a comfortable time, I suppose for them, they got up and went to their side of the room. They may not have intended rudeness, but how else am I supposed to read that. These people in this class were young, 20-30 years younger than us, and my wife and I thought that as being more mature Christians we could share something with them. What we weren’t prepared for was the segregation.
One thing we have found out about living here was that people are friendly, they’ll smile, ask after you, maybe even sit at the same table with you at a church function. One thing they don’t do is ask you into their homes. The number of houses we have been in I could count on one hand. Maybe with an extra digit or two added on, but we have had a sort of falling out with some people we know, and there has been a feeling of being shunned since then, being ignored by people we closely associated with them. You know the drill, you’re still “friends” with them on Facebook, so you see pictures of all the events you use to go to, but are no longer welcome.
Anyway, this whole feeling of bitterness can overwhelm you at times when you see others doing things you’d enjoy but they don’t care. From birthday parties, to movies, to softball teams, you express interest but are cast aside. Anyway, you fight it, and are thankful for the friends you do have, and you fight it. But then one of their kids come along and call you fat the whole time in class, and you think, does my kid act like this when I’m not looking? Do these people realize the kind of stuff they do? Should they be told? This is where it begins: as a child. You see your parents behavior and you mimic them. I don’t know, maybe I am just sensitive and think too much. But I gave into the thoughts and the hopelessness that all these people who may claim to know the love of Christ, but don’t display it in their own or toward their children, it hurts.
I can fight it though. With God’s help of course. I’ve got to realize that people are not going to be as sensitive as I, as spiritual as I, as struggling with injustice as I. Then I read books like “Living Waters” by Brother Yun, and I read about the love he had for the brethren in China, and how he came to the west and sees how Christ doesn’t make much difference our lives. I can’t blame them. I believe this country needs more persecution of the saints for us to grow stronger. Am I wrong?
I end this with a plead: know Christ, know the Church, get involved in others lives. You only know as much as what you share and what others share with you, at least in the spiritual sense, I believe. Know me through my posts, and let me know you.