The other day I was doing laundry. As I transferred the now dry clothes from the dryer to the empty laundry basket in order to fold them, one of the socks had a thread dangling from the top of it. I tugged on the thread in the attempt to pull it off. Instead of ending up with a small piece of thread in my hand, the once short piece of thread grew longer and longer as the entire top of the sock came unraveled. Before I realized what was happening, the top of the sock was completely void of any elasticity to hold it in place on one’s leg. One small piece of loose thread led to the sock being rendered useless.
Lately I feel as though someone has pulled loose threads in me and around me.
The daily challenges of living with any illness can prove to be difficult. I am the first to admit that the path I walk is no way comparable to the path that some have had and continue to have to endure. My body is not subject to harsh chemical treatment as one who is dealing with cancer must do to their bodies. I do not pretend to know the grief a young mom must feel as she is told by the military chaplain that her young husband and father of their children did not survive the helicopter crash. I do not know what it is to cower in fear because Christian music is playing on my radio station. While none of these things pertain to me, I do understand the difficulty that getting out of bed each day can bring because one’s body is wracked with pain or one’s world looks so dark and lonely that even the brightest light seems unable to penetrate the depths of sadness. With each medical test result that is unfavorable, I find that I am feeling my world unravel. Each day spent battling my own thoughts and finding myself weary from the battle to keep my head above water is more unraveling. Each relationship that has changed–and not for the better– because life has brought me to a new location and loneliness now lives where friendships once resided has contributed further to the sense of unraveling.
Looking outside myself, I see a world around me also unraveling.
A man, once lauded as being one of the greatest athletes of all time, is now lavished with attention for becoming a woman–something he said he always felt anyway. And the attention is not coming from a negative vantage point. No, it is just the opposite. He is being praised for his “courage” to be true to who he really is. Seriously? Fifty years ago, the attention received for such acts was anything but positive. In addition to that, in all likelihood, the highest court in our land will soon rule favorably for homosexual marriage–something that legally they have no right to do but are taking the liberty to do so regardless of what our Constitution states about the constraints of what this court is allowed to rule on. Fifty years ago, no one would have ever predicted that the blatant sin of homosexuality would not only be tolerated but also encouraged. On the opposite of the spectrum, it is now illegal to have the Ten Commandments displayed on public property. (yes, there are areas of the country that are exceptions) Placing a nativity set on state owned property is sure to cause an uproar by those who are offended by the Baby Jesus. Praying in school or holding an after school Bible study in an available classroom is now forbidden by school authorities, yet they allow an entire day of silence devoted to the advocates of the LGBT movement. An unraveling of morals is taking place.
If you’ve ever watched the television show “All in the Family”, you probably remember the lyrics to its theme song:
“And you knew where you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men…”
In too many families, men are no longer taught to be men. Instead, they are taught to be whoever they feel inside they should be. Gosh, I think maybe I identify more with cats than I do people, so maybe I should change my identity to that of the feline persuasion. At the rate things are going, I may soon be able to do just that. After all, no one but me really knows how I feel, so I can legitimately feel any way I desire.
In my own life and in the world around me, the unraveling can be frustrating and scary. I don’t pretend to know where it all will end in either case. In the case of my sock, it ended with the sock being useless. In my personal life, because I am not a sock but rather a child of God, I know that I won’t be useless until God makes that clear by calling me home. In the meantime, while I struggle greatly with the effects of illness and depression, I am being forced to lean hard on Him to get me through each day. I see His hand in my life most days–when I wake to rain and thunderstorms instead of hot sunshine, when summer gives way to cooler temperatures of autumn, when my daughter comes and she and my sweet little grandson spend the day with me, or when my kitties jump up on my lap and purr as they fall asleep. Some days I struggle to find Him. My heart longs for some kind of reassurance that just doesn’t come. Even in those times, though, I can remind myself that just because I cannot see Him does not mean He isn’t here.