Exhaustion-A Rant

“Exhaustion”.

Meaning: “Exhause” from the Latin, which means, “I am so friggin done with this mess.”

No, this is not true. It is not even remotely true, at least not origin of the word. However, the feeling is there. I teach in a high school. I pastor, yes, pastor and shepherd the young feelings and emotions of students ages 14-18, but most of the time 14-15. They are fragile creatures, which should come with a sign that says, “Fragile: Handle with care”. Bullying takes place often. It is painful to watch their hopelessness and pain when it comes from their peers. Why? Because, on a subconscious level, I think bullying hurts more when it comes from your own. They can talk back to teachers all day long, and, yes, I am sure it does take a toll on them to feel like they are not liked by teachers. But you can see the feeling drain from their faces when it comes from their peers.

Sure, they act like it does not really touch them. But even without suicide or self-harm, which are both on the rise, you can see something die on the inside. They say something back, but it’s like watching someone throw a rock at a tank. They are doing it because they do not know what else to do in the moment. So many of them are still reeling from physical changes that took place in their bodies only a year or two years ago.

A mass of confusion and uncertainty, mixed with an unmeasured amount of doubt and fragility is the best way to describe them. They want to be sure of who they are, and just when they are about to get there, someone comes up and beats it out of them verbally. The mixture is then chaotic again, and they have to start from scratch. It would be fascinating to watch if this was not happening in real time to real children in the real world full of real pain.

But why am I writing about this here and now? Truth of the matter is we should all—everyone one of us, from the youngest to oldest—wear that “Fragile: Handle with Care” sign. Yet, so often, we are no more than porcelain and glass knocking into one another again and again, exalting in the fact that we just chipped another piece off of someone else, forgetting we’ve lost a piece in the process ourselves. You see it all the time on social media, don’t you?

Someone makes a post, a comment, a video, or whatever. They put themselves out there, for whatever reason, and the wolves come. But is it wolves? I hesitate to link it to any animal. Wolves and snakes kill and devour for survival. They must. It is the Law of Survival when they take down the hapless helpless deer or mouse. We expect no tear from their eye. It’s not that they have grown cold. God has not built them to care in such a way.

This makes bullying that much worse in the end. Christian theology teaches that we are made—all of us—in the image of God. We bear something that nothing else in all creation does: The unique and glorious image of our creator. Sin—rebellion against our creator—has defaced or corrupted that image, but it yet exists, like a shattered mirror: The image is there, but it’s broken and irreparable except by miracle. So when we bully, when we bear down on someone to crush them under our own weight, we, in a sense, do this to God Himself. And will we go unpunished?

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3 thoughts on “Exhaustion-A Rant

  1. Well said, brother. We are all, indeed, made in the image of God. It is such a sinful shameful thing that many who claim the name of Christ ignore this when it comes to interacting with someone with a different level of melanin in their skin cells, or with noses shaped differently, or were born somewhere other than “here”, or who think and/or believe differently, or … any of a bazillion kinds of “other than me”.

    As Christians, the only real difference we should see is that between those who are in Christ, and those who are not. Those who are in Christ are our brothers and sisters regardless of physical or cultural differences.

    Those who are not in Christ are NOT our brothers and sisters, and never can be as long as they remain outside of Him, again, regardless of physical or cultural differences. They are, however, ALL our neighbors, with all that entails. People that we should love as ourselves. People that still bear that fractured image of God, people that need the gospel.

    Ooops. Got up on my soap-box again.

    See ya!
    Ron

    Like

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