Ed, my neighbor next door, was disgusted with me again yesterday. It was my fault in that I forgot that Ed has a great feeling of disgust for poetry. He asked me what I was up to and I said that I was trying to get poetry completed for submission before the end of the month. “That’s just a waste of time,” snapped Ed. Then he added, “You need to get a grip Ray. I saw you out here in your yard snapping pictures of a bush!”
“Guilty as charged,” I admitted. “Did you notice how beautifully my spirea bush is blooming this year?” It was enough to push Ed over the edge.
“Do I look like somebody who notices stupid bushes? The things I notice are acres of yellow canola or blue flax, white-faced Herefords and tractors you’d need a step ladder for, just to get into the cab!” Ed snarled.
I told Ed to settle down – that he was getting all agitated like a washing machine vibrating out of control. This, of course, seemed to only make him grumpier than an irritated bumble bee.
“Why don’t you settle me down with some stupid poetry for this never ending rainy morning,” Ed fumed. “You cannot come up with anything that anyone has ever heard of but you, can you Ray?!”
Always one to take on a challenge, I thought of Karen Carpenter singing one of her hits and offered these few lines to Ed. “Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old – Sometimes I’d like to quit – Nothing seems to fit – Hangin’ around – Nothing to do but frown – Rainy days and Mondays always get me down!”
“Ever hear that poetry before?” I asked Ed. Ed didn’t really answer he just grunted a, “So who cares?” and headed for his garage.
Why do we get disgusted with others? Why do we get the blues about ourselves? Why is it that we say nothing is wrong, but we feel like we don’t belong and are walking around like some lonely clown? Knowing someone loves us is not enough! Only knowing that God loves us and that we are meant to love Him is enough. Gold, silver, recognition, talent, success will never satisfy us. Even life itself can be over before we feel it should be. Karen Carpenter died of a heart attack at the age of 32 on the second of June 1983.
Death has a way of getting us down, both in the grave and in grief for those we loved and who have died. Knowing others love us is not enough in the face of death. Knowing God loves us is the power to lift us up. Without faith in God in both life and death, nothing will seem to fit and life will get us down. That is why the poetry of Psalm 42 is so beautiful: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
A modern praise song expresses the Psalm beautifully with the words “You (God) alone are my strength, my shield. To you alone may my spirit yield! You alone are my heart’s desire and I long to worship Thee.”
When your soul is downcast or you have the blues, let God be the apple of your eye and your real joy-giver.