“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” -John, 18:23
I can’t remember when it was that my fiancé said to me after I’d posted something cryptic on Facebook, “You’re vague booking.” It’s the act of expressing a feeling or emotion without specifically addressing the issue itself. Sometimes its shady, sometimes it’s done out of a need to turtle; retreat to safety but at the same time somehow reach out to say help–just enough that people notice and say, “they’re vague booking”. Before social media, I think this would be the character who continually sighs in a sitcom until someone asks, “Ok, what’s wrong!?”
I’ve been vague booking. The reality is, I’m in a place where I am experiencing grief that I didn’t think had a place in my life–because I thought I’d dealt with. And yet, there’s more.
And I want to speak more to that grief. But I’m also feeling that, having expressed it, I haven’t been heard because that grief is somehow not pertinent, or its too challenging to hear, or requires that a truth be acknowledged that might be uncomfortable to hear.
Right now, in a place where I felt I had worth, in a place I felt I mattered, I feel the complete opposite. And while I recognize that the power to change lies in my hands, it can’t change the fact that I’m broken.
This morning around 5:00 am I got out of bed because I couldn’t sleep. My mind would not shut off, would not stop thinking in a childish way about how I could try to change situations. It’s the time liturgically of Ascension, and depending on how you celebrate, it either just happened this past Wednesday, or will be happening for you on Sunday. I should be focused on hope right now, yet my mind was drawn to the moment when Jesus was struck during His passion. At that moment, we see when not to turn the other cheek. Christ, knowing the full torment of His passion is upon Him, stops, and chastises the man who struck Him, challenging him to explain his actions, to justify the assault on His body. It’s a beautiful moment for so many reasons. It is a moment that gives me hope–just a little bit of hope–that in the situations that feel to me to be unjust, disrespectful, that the truth still is the truth.
I’m left still with the grief, with the disappointment. I look at the scripture I’ve chosen for this post, and have to really fight against the voice in my head that tells me “You’re just being a martyr, suck it up, tote the line, go along with it.” But I can’t. Because my values to the truth forbid me to do that. My commitment to my vocation forbids me to do that. My grief is in that I cannot speak, I cannot change what is, and likely what will be.
So I’m vague booking.