Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The Sound of Settling
I have not done a good job at making peace with my vocation and the fact that it makes me feel like I'm becoming a completely different person, one that I don't even like. One of my former students when I taught high school saw me today and said to her Mom who works with me, "Mr. Marshall doesn't look happy anymore". I've heard my oldest daughter say similar things to me. On the outside it appears I'm giving off sounds of settling. Settling for a life disconnected from my heart and gifts. Settling for letting others use me in their own pursuits of pride and greed. I never wanted to settle for anything short of the dreams and passions on my heart but I feel trapped and I admit I'm losing hope in it all. Settling says this is all there is, it doesn't get better and the sooner you wake up to that fact the better off you'll be. Settling sucks.
Above is one of my favorite pics of my lost friend, Palmer. I still miss him so much. He wouldn't have let me settle, he never did. He lived his life on purpose and in simplicity. His life was his art, it was quite beautiful. It was a life I felt was worth fighting for. I longed, prayed and fasted for his healing. I never believed in his death until i left his coffin and even then I still wasn't giving up but it was for naught. Either God has some master plan he doesn't feel like telling us or I lost that fight. Both answers as you can see haven't left me with much peace about it all. I'm sure its connected to all the other disappointments and shattered dreams I'm wrestling with.
I took that pic of Palmer, it was on Cuthbert Island off the North coast of England. In the background was the ruins of the ancient Abbey and behind us was the coast at low tide. We sat with our Irish pints and journaled on that day and in that place. I remember that being a day that my heart was fully alive, not as it is now. If I would have known then that Palmer had cancer, I would have prayed over him in all those ancient holy places. Rather, we just enjoyed what we had and although I'm severely disappointed with the outcome, I'm thankful to have those days and the memories of the adventure with him.
Palmer never settled for the death of his 1st wife, Jennifer. He held out hope for her until the very end. I really have never seen anything quite like his faith. And then for himself to be diagnosed with cancer, suffer greatly and leave this life with the same disease is quite puzzling. But he never lost hope, he never settled for anything less than a resurrection and that's what I prayed for him. I wonder if he can pray resurrection for me tonight? I don't have a freakin' clue where to turn or what to do, so I will ask Palmer wherever he is sleeping tonight to pray for me. He wouldn't listen to the sounds of settling, here's to hoping he'll help me not to listen either.