There are days when I am left with a sense that regardless what I do in this lifetime, it will never be enough. That somehow I will never be enough. Ultimately none of what we can do to save ourselves or one another is enough.
I realize this is fatalist thinking to some degree, and that some of it started back when I was a teenager/young 20's adult. When I was in college I took a lot of theology/philosophy and a lot of political science. And the thing that used to set me over the edge was the political science. Because ultimately there is no perfect system or way of doing things. We can theorize all day long, and we can work for justice and peace our entire lives, and ultimately maybe not make more than a small ripple, that is felt in our own ponds only. Part of me still wants heaven on earth. I'm worn of this world and all of it's craziness. Where the hell is the kingdom of God and when it is going to arrive?!
I want a life for the kids I work with that is full of the things they need and all the love they can hold. I want peace on the planet for those ravaged by war and strife. I want life, and I want abundant life for those who live with doubts, fears and pain. I want justice for those who have been harmed by others. I want simpler things too. I want some semblance of control over my body and my fluctuating weight (which happens to be up at this moment). I want my children to grow up in a loving environment free of the harsh criticism I endured. I want a partner in this life who loves me completely and without reservation. I want healing for myself and for those who need it. I want the happy ending...where all the struggle and strife and pain ends up being worth something in the end, perhaps turned into healing and unconditional love and peace.
That's a heck of a Christmas list I suppose. And yet I feel as if there is just not enough to go around. While I believe in God, and know more so now than ever that God desires relationship with me, I wonder where all this other stuff fits in. Is it too much to ask for? To hope for? To desire? It seems so. I've had Archbishop Romero on the brain today. It's the anniversary of his death - the day he was shot while celebrating mass in El Salvador. Romero has been someone I've studied for many years, and a sort of folk hero to me. Yet, for all of his passionate preaching and love for the Salvadoran people, he was gunned down. He died. He is not here now, the dream was never realized for him. King faced the same end - he worked to see the end of racism and classism, and yet, he too was killed before he ever got to be "enough." For all of the work so many do, it doesn't seem to be enough ultimately.
For every one happy ending I get to see in juvenile court, there are 5 crappy ones. So 1 kid gets the dream, and the other 5 get shit on. It just seems wrong. Unfair. Unjust. Hopeless.
The better angels of my nature reassure me that the one child would not have gotten that ending but for the same systems I rail against. That even if it is only one, it is someone. And that one should be celebrated and I should be thankful for the one. I guess I'm just at a cyncial juncture. I'm more caught up with the other 5.
Perhaps it's my own life - that I feel too close to - or identify too much with - the other 5. I know what it's like to face some of what they face - to never feel the warmth of unconditional love as a child. And to still long for it now decades later. To still want healing...to still hope that love wins in the end - that love really does conquer all. And despite all my desire as a kid to please God and to be acceptable, I just never could quite get the hang of it. I never could actually *feel* it.
More than anything else today, I desire to still have a spark of hope that what I'm doing is serving a higher good, even when it seems dismal. I so want to believe that God waits for me, wanting to share in both my despair and my joy. That even in the darkest hour of the darkest night, there is a loving Father, only too ready to shoulder some of my burden, to lighten my load.