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Is there anything more sentimental than the late afternoon sun? The lonesome glow, lingering yet ever so slowly leaving, it does something to my heart. Tears gather for no reason, or for so many reasons, and I don’t know which is true. I can name a few that make me grieve, but this late evening, I try my best to cast away those sentimental thoughts. This week, many things are happening. This week, many things are still left unanswered. This week comes with no certain promise, no real progress, but like the setting sun that appears to be lingering yet leaving constantly, I know things will slowly unfold as I go through Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and finally, Sunday. I can’t wait for Sunday. I can’t wait to be called to worship at the house of God. When can I go and stand before him?
“As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
when can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?(Psalm 42:1-3)”
We were only a few hours away from each other since my ex-husband has moved to New York, yet we have not tried to meet up. He is busy with work, with his life. He is trying to move on, and I must honor his choice. This week, he is moving again off to where his job is taking him. We will be 2000 miles away from each other, and I know that this move of his will end things between us for good. It ended long ago. I shouldn’t linger. I should let go, and stop this grieving. It has been long enough.
Something about the late afternoon atmosphere always reminds me of monastery. I remember the great peace, and the unending consolation I have receive at the monastery. This afternoon, I have that thought again, that chronic yearning that will probably linger in my soul until the day I stand before God. In my mind, I still wish that I could join the order and become a sister. Especially so, when I read prayers at Vespers every evening. It’s the only thing that keeps my nightly blues away. But my bipolar isn’t going anywhere, and my medical condition will join the monastery along with me. It doesn’t take the world’s best psychiatrist to help me understand that monastery may not be the best place for me. I know that. Sister Barbara knows that. And I also know that God knows what’s best for me, my bipolar and my daily mood swings; high in the morning and low at night, sometime unbearably, and sometimes comfortably.
“Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again–
my Savor and my God!(Psalm 42:5)”
My day was long and laborious, filled with occasional hurts and forced interactions. The good news is that I am able to get through my morning because of my heightened mood. You won’t find anyone happier than I am. The power of my laughter and my radiating joy will sweep you up and take you for a flight to join me where I am, in the high dwelling place full of emotional highs. Nothing can hurt me. I am too absorbed in my own happiness.
The even better news is that I am able to get through my afternoon and evening blues with the help of my family and close friends. I accompany my sister who loves me dearly on her outing. I sit in the passenger seat while she drives and I admire the bustling Rockville; its liveliness and the sophisticated city life style. When I am just visiting the city, it all seems positively life-giving. Nothing lifts up my mood like finding a great deal on pretty books at a giant bookstore. Nothing strengthens our sisterly love like trying on dresses in the fitting room at a clothing shop. In my heart, the darkness was evident. I knew where it had descended from: my brain. But no matter what my brain was making me feel, my soul knew better. I may be sad, but I am more wiser than I am sad.
Any night that ends with Vespers’s reading is the night to die for. Everything is so well with my soul, and truly, I would have no reason to linger here on earth if I died tonight. If the Lord calls me tonight, it is well with my soul. But it is my Lord’s decision, not mine. Come tomorrow, if he grants me with another day here on earth, I shall praise him for his majesty and join the birds to sing songs of joy when the morning comes.
“But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.(Psalm 42:8)”