But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave,
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save…
Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?1
“Faith without a hope.” Ugh. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s necessary. Whenever the liar’s lies start sounding plausible, my first instinct is to fight back — counter his arguments with my own, untie the knots he keeps tying.
I always lose, though. The enemy I’m fighting is either myself or some devil. If it’s myself — well, I’m clearly in a weakened condition, and so at the moment I’m much stronger than me. I’ll never defeat myself like this. If it’s some devil, his intellect dwarfs mine; he cuts off every escape route, smashes through all my strongest defenses. I lose again.
The better thing to do is something a good friend told me years ago: Fold the wings of your intellect. My mind is a caged bird, beating her wings against the bars; so I’ll let her stop flapping. All of my thoughts have become weapons that the enemy turns against me; so then I’ll take away his weapons. Does the pain persist? Let it persist. I’ll think of a loved one worse off than me, and offer my pain to God for them. God doesn’t waste suffering.
And if there’s a chapel only 10 minutes away where I can sit at the feet of my Shepherd and fold my wings2 there — even better.
When I don’t respond to the arguments, they subside. The pain gets worse, then better. Do I feel great? Not really. But tomorrow I’ll feel better. Tomorrow, in all probability, I won’t be able to remember what was bothering me.
Tomorrow, too, I’ll get off my ass and finally (ugh) see what hoops I have to jump through to find a therapist again.