To The Ones Who Suffer; I understand in part.

Morbidly, malignantly self-conscious. Condemned.

Who can rescue me from this body of death?!

I work so hard to keep others from knowing how terrible I really am.

And, I am fearful of others seeing me and condemning me.

Yet, I am so sure they know already and I am already damned.

I have standards that I do not understand.

I do not know where they came from.

I know some: but I am the one who is tormented by them.

Pain, grief, anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame…

And, the list could go on.

I condemn myself and am convinced that I am without value.

But, I try so hard and fall so short, and confused.

Others, I am sure, see the worst of me, which is all of me.

Those who treat me well and love me must be blind or delusional.

I am drawn to that which confirms my damning picture. Even to consider those things confirms I am without value and condemned.

Yet, I believe other things, too. I believe in God. I believe that God purchased my redemption.

Why do I have such turmoil?

My soul cries out.

My tears go unshed and build into mounds of oppression.

Yet, I keep up the smile lest I betray my darkness and let others see me.

I keep everyone from really knowing me, including myself.

Is there one who sees me objectively? God?

He must be embarrassed. He must want to thrash me. I sure do.

Yet, I hurt and I believe in Him, but it is not rock solid. It is like I depend on me vs. Him.

Oh, that it were rock solid. I could stand on the immovable.

I try to stand on myself, my perception of who I am.

That is only shifting sand and shadows. It does not work.

Oh, God, help me to experience you and know you more deeply.

Who you say you are; not what my morbid, malignant self-condemnation sees.

Lord, keep the thief from stealing, killing, and destroying. Protect what is yours.

And, help me to be your willing accomplice for good and healing.

Richard L. Brewer