I feel like yelling at my pastor. Then I feel like yelling at myself. Of course I feel so frustrated by it all I want to yell at the world. And it’s all because of some stupid book that may be the best book I’ve ever read, and how it’s making me face the truth of who I am and where I stand.
A Powerful Sermon
It was just a few weeks ago that I was in church listening to Pastor Kate give her usual sermon full of compassion and understanding. Her messages are typically chock full of ways to help our fellow humans and be good, kind, and compassionate.
And on this particular Sunday she shared a quote from the book Tattoos of the Heart, and it spoke to me.
Hope for Hope’s Sake
But this wasn’t the first time I had heard of the book. I had heard of the author, Gregory Boyle a while back in an article about Homeboy Industries, the organization he had helped create many years ago. In this article, it talked about how one person could make such an impact in the lives of so many that people had given up on.
See, this organization is a company that finds employment for ex-gang members to give them a reason to stay off the streets. I was fascinated by the hope of second chances and by this person who had such a love for his fellow man.
I had even purchased the audiobook version of Tattoos of the Heart, but simply had put other things ahead of it. Perhaps I was avoiding exactly what I experienced when I started listening; I’m not sure. What I do know is that sermon made me put the audiobook next on my listening list and that started the snowball that would follow.
So here I am, in my morning ritual, exercising and listening to my audiobook. And every day since I started reading this blasted book I find myself nearly in tears. The book is powerful and the author is such a gifted storyteller I can’t help but become connected to the characters.
For just a few days I’m listening and each day I feel this burning desire to go out and help people – this burning desire to change the world one person at a time.
And I feel this stupid machine, laughing at me – laughing at my predicament – because it perfectly encapsulates the situation. Here I am, traveling miles and getting nowhere. I am putting out all this effort and not changing one thing. As much as I want to change the world – like I am on this infernal machine – I’m stuck. I keep doing all this work and I’m in the same place I started.
I Feel Yell-ow
And it frustrates me. It angers me. It makes me want to yell and scream, because all I want to do is help people. All I want to do is bring people to a better place in life. And I can’t because my life is on this treadmill. I can’t get anywhere.
So I want to yell. I want to yell at my pastor for mentioning this book – this book that reminds me that I’m unable to do the one simple thing I want to do. I want to yell at myself for taking a horrible left turn in my life that flung me off a cliff where I have to spend so much effort just to maintain and provide for my kids. I want to yell at the world for living on this merry go round as if everyone is zombified and unaware there’s someone here ready to make a change. I simply want to make a difference, and I ache as I stand alone, literally and metaphorically, and feel totally undone.
Taking the Chance
So often life gives us a chance and we don’t take it. Other times the chance is outside of our reach, often by choices we’ve made.
But in the end, I’d rather be sitting here, going round and round and going nowhere, preparing, working, expending great amounts of energy to be ready for where I need to be, feeling the push, the call, the drive to move to where I can make a difference, than to just shut it all down completely. I’d rather be ashamed for crashing than for never having driven to where I am.
I’d rather be angry. I’d rather yell. At least when I yell, you hear my passion.
I’d rather yell.