sound asleep

Sleeping on Couch
Peggy Molloy


from today's Old Testament reading at Mass, the most eloquent prophet Jeremiah:

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.

Let's stop right there and deliberately take the sentence apart: "...turned their backs to me."

How do I feel when my children do that to me out of anger, or self-righteousness? Or when I have hurt my children or upset them to the degree that they won't even turn to me when I am speaking to them? How can it be that I expect God to "understand" exactly how upset I am with the way things are going right now when I won't even look at Him?

I think I am in the throes of a depression because all I really want to do is sleep; I have little energy for anything else and while I would like to blame my underactive, lump-containing thyroid, I don't think that is what it is. I've never been in depression before -- goodness, I take 40mg/Paxil daily! My anxiety is under control, but there is something else at work in me. Do I give in to it and sleep or do I fight it, throw on my Chucks and walk in the way God is commanding me? Do I head straight for the Word of God and see what He suggests I do?

Today and yesterday, I have opted to sleep. How do you suppose that is working for me? One would think "wow, she must be well-rested," but honestly, I don't feel as though I have slept at all. I feel like instead of facing God, I am opting to roll over on the couch and turn away from Him, from whatever it is He wishes to impart. I've had so many people praying and for what? Weren't these nodules supposed to disappear because someone laid hands on me? Am I supposed to look at the *bright side* and say "at least they were caught 'in time'?" I am, to a degree. But in this situation, I am honestly not thanking God for any of it. In all things give thanks...a directive, but my back is turned so I can't really hear it.

What would happen if I "turned my face to Him" and stopped turning my back on Him? Could it really be that the Creator of the Universe, the One who knit me in my mother's womb and knows the hair count of my head wants me to turn my face to Him and look up? As if I were a flower, turning toward the sun, maybe His rays will bring me some sort of healing...and maybe that healing won't be instantaneous, but it would come.

I was told today by my trusted Pastor friend that I want to reach for anything that feels familiar right now because I am in pain. Instead of doing that which I desired most (read: delve into my addiction), I resorted to the familiarity of my snug sofa with a quilt wrapped around me and the phone unplugged...the cats cuddled right in with me. Just like a child who was trying to hide from her Parent, I was hiding under the covers and thinking He won't notice me and will turn His attention to something else, like ending poverty or the war or better yet, helping a scientist find the cure for AIDS.

Pastor also told me that it was time to stop running. He thinks I am being brought to the end of myself, the place where God has wanted me all along, and instead of resisting, I should surrender and "turn my back around."

Better yet, maybe I should look up from under my blanket because God is sitting at the foot the couch, waiting to talk to me.

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