February 9, 2003 ~ Faith and Doubt
I think that it is probably integral to life that, during even the happiest of moments, struggle and heartache lurk in the corners.
This afternoon I was sitting in the living room in a sunspot, warmed, content. Morgan was busy in the kitchen preparing dough for the loaves of bread he is making for the week. Occasionally, I would go in there. Every time, a marvelously happy smile would spread over his face and he would stop what he was doing so that he could hold me for a moment and talk. Such love, such happiness. I am truly blessed.
But, sitting in the living room, staring at the remainder of Thursday's melting snow, a wave of sadness swept over me, unprovoked, and I was left confused at the tears in my eyes. They were not happy tears. It was a profound sadness, and I wasn't sure where it had come from. It seemed to bleed in from the edges.
I turned within, tried to pull this dark thing from the corner of my mind and out into the sunlight. I don't like to leave unknowns lurking.
I think, honestly, that this is insecurity.
We had a scare last week. Absolutely no money in the bank, out of groceries. This happens more often than I'd like to admit. At least, this time, there were no unpaid bills on top of it. Morgan had come with me to work that day so that he could meet with a client. After I was off of work, we had the "What are we going to do for dinner?" conversation. We knew that we had nothing left at home, yet we didn't have a single dollar to buy anything with. And neither of us expecting any income until the 15th. These conversations always come to the same conclusion. The answer to the question, "What are we going to eat?" always ends up being, "I don't know."
We got lucky, though (we almost always do). Li called us, saying that she wanted to make dinner for us. And she mentioned that she wanted to give us over $200 toward rent. Just in time. I am so incredibly thankful for our friends. I don't know if she realized (when we were thanking her) just how perfect her timing had been.
This causes a split in me. Part of my spirit blossoms into faith at these times. The other half sinks into depression. When trouble comes, it brings with it help. And if it weren't for my lack of money, of worldly things, would I have learned to find so much joy in the slant of the sun through the windows? The rainbow that falls across my white paper as the sunlight hits my water glass? The brilliance of the last of the snow sparkling on the backfield? The gentle sway of the branches of the old oak across the street? A cardinal chirping somewhere nearby? So long as I have love, I can survive anything, right?
But the other half of me grumbles with frustration, "We are working so hard! Will we never come out even just a little ahead?" Will we ever have the extra money it will take to buy the much needed new tires to replace Pokey's bald ones? I hate that Morgan can't see well right now, because his glasses are old and scratched and the prescription is several years out of date. I hate that these things, which are really necessities are on our "wish list." Wishes? They're needs! I do not foresee us having the hundreds of dollars extra that buying these things would require. Every month I try to save some money, but it always becomes necessary to dip into it for food or the bills. It is just so tiring. I find myself honestly believing that it will always be like this.
I don't want to be cynical. I don't want to be pessimistic. I want to have faith that this too will pass. But I look at the economy going down and down. I Look at friends who are also getting poorer and poorer. I look at homeless rates rising, job availability failing, prices raising, Morgan's clients getting fewer, and I think, maybe not.