I had a need to give up my everything to the one that I love in the most dynamic way.
To showcase my crazy, burning love for Him, I needed a stage.
I desired to renounce the world and hide in God by becoming a nun.
Because I’m such a drama queen.
I don’t know how to express this intense love I feel for Jesus to suit my taste.
There is no word for it, and I cannot paint this feeling on a blank canvas either.
Maybe the opportunity to showcase my love for him to my heart’s content will be given one day and soon,
and maybe I should be fearful.
When I get to that thought, I think about the martyrs.
Do I want that?
I honestly don’t have the mental stamina in me to accomplish that fate.
I knew a neighbor of mine who lost her mind after she was traumatized by witnessing her husband’s death at the hospital. It wasn’t her husband, but she thought it was her husband. Later on her quick assumption was corrected, but the damage was already done in her brain. She was never the same since that day. She lost her mind beyond recovery. Years later, she would jump off of her balcony. I was a high school student when that happened, and I saw her falling down to the ground in my dream. It was Saturday evening, and I had fallen asleep while I was studying in the living room. When I woke up startled from the dream, my sister was telling me the news that just happened which also happened to be exactly what I had just saw in my dream. Our neighbor(she had a butcher’s shop right next to my mom’s grocery shop in the shopping center near the apartment complex we lived in. She lived right across from our building) had just committed suicide by jumping out the balcony. I shivered in fear for a long time after her suicide.
What I learned from her is that your mind can witness so much. She wasn’t a woman of faith as far as I know, so there was that big problem. Mental illness was a taboo back then in Korea(and still is), right diagnosis was probably a jackpot opportunity, and I do not believe that anti-depression drugs or psychotic drugs were very common then. The questions would have remained even if the drugs were used commonly. They may not have worked for her. They didn’t work for me.
What worked was my faith. My faith helped me to stay patient and persevere to wait out the time needed for healing. Any disease takes time to heal, and mental illnesses is no exception. Some experience it for a month or a year and go back to normal. Some have recurring episodes in case of depression and bipolar depression. Some cases like Schizophrenia or Alzheimer are generally believed to be irreversible, but never say never. There are constant studies being done, and I am sure there were some miraculous healings that took place throughout the human history.
I am easily startled, scared, and shocked. I am easily disturbed and discouraged. I am easily anything. So it scares me to be out there in the world. Most days, I feel like a three day old infant walking around by a miracle. And it feels more like a curse than it is a miracle when I am having some weak moments. I cannot control what I see, what I feel, what I witness, and what is being done to me. How I do survive? I just hide behind Jesus’s cloak. I disappear.
“In one mist of melting snow which overhangs Gethsemani and Louisville alike, I see the whole world like smoke and I am not part of it. There is nothing on this earth that does not give me a pain. Conversation in town, ambition in the cloister: I mean even ambition to do great things for God. That ambition is too much like the ambitions of the town.”, I read on my walk back from work under the sunny Autumn sky. How I agree with every word Thomas Merton said in his book ‘The Signs of Jonas’. There is nothing on this earth that does not give me a pain. I had actually just witnessed something my mind could not digest very well. People were already setting up tents in front of Best Buy, the electronic mega store, in preparation for Black Friday hoping to catch some whopping deal starting at midnight. It was only noon. Witnessing that scene pained me greatly.
I disappeared into the world of reading all afternoon resting my tired legs but soon my eyes got tired from too much reading. I decided to rest my eyes and read outdoors. So I walked to the empty playground nearby. As I approached closer, a deer, suddenly stiffened her body, studying my motive. Upon seeing my harmless book in my hands, the deer lowered her head again and continued to chew the grass. Or maybe it was my pink furry boots that proved my innocence to the deer. Surely the hunters don’t wear pink boots but I might be wrong.
Soon two more rabbits gathered around the deer. So a human, a deer and two rabbits were enjoying the empty playground together in peace, just as the sun was setting on this quiet Thanksgiving day. I thought, “There is nothing on this earth that does not give me a joy.”, and I gave thanks to God for creating all things but most of all, for creating the beautiful moment of that evening.