Murphy, Me, and a Good, Strong Rope

May 18, 2010

I don’t really know who this famous “Murphy” is or why his “law” seems to have drawn a bulls-eye upon my forehead.

I’ve always been prone to stuff falling apart and crisis is kind of a significant part of my work.

But, even while there are so many good things happening around me, I feel like I’m at the epicenter of an earthquake of trouble.  I’ve been arguing with my insurance company over a “lapse of coverage” during which my wife had an ambulance ride and ER visit.  I spent pretty much all of yesterday trying to get the starter off of my pickup only to have it test ok at the parts store.  Last weekend I spent several hours trying to unclog a kitchen drain only to have to call a plumber the next morning.

My first child graduates this week and, being the ridiculously emotional person that I am, it’s already a shaky time.  When you add the frustration to that, it can easily add up to a collapse.

I’ve had a few moments the last couple of days where I felt like a high-rise window washer dangling by his safety rope.  Through my struggles with depression, I had many moments when I felt utterly alone.  I was never alone, but I felt like I was.

There is a desperate tension at these times between how I feel and what I know.  If you’ve never been there, you’re probably thinking that this doesn’t make sense.  Of course it doesn’t make sense.  That’s why they call it mental illness.  You feel like you’re falling off of the edge of reality.

But for me, my safety rope holds.  But I want you to know why.

Obviously, it’s very strong.  It’s strong because it’s got a lot of cords wound tightly together.  My relationship with God is the unbreakable cord at the center.  My wife and I are very tightly wrapped around that cord and there are a good number of very close relationships that are tightly wrapped around us.  Even when it feels like I am going to break, the reality is that I’m just one of many cords.  I think that’s what Solomon was trying to teach me when he wrote these words:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

I am in a big rope with lots of great friends – and we’re all bound together by the Holy Spirit.  I’m never alone, even when I feel like I am.  It’s okay when I am afraid (or a-frayed, perhaps).  I may stumble and fall, but they are there to hold me up and pull me back to my feet.

So Murphy, take your best shot. Even if I can’t take it, we can.

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