Sunday, December 15, 2013
Like Annus Horribilis
It felt like I was a helpless, useless piece of rag—pushed, pulled and spun in an endless maximum motion inside a washing machine gone haywire.
In all of seven days—it seemed more like annus horribilis, as Queen Elizabeth described the year 1992 when everything horrible happened one after the other—I could only do what was possible under the circumstances.
It was the last week of school for the term, when exams had to be administered and grades plus all other records were due. It was also the only week left to make up for all the classes missed during supertyphoon Yolanda. My email overflowed with messages from students turning in their papers at the last hour. They all needed to be read, checked, and graded.
On top of all these, I had appointments and other obligations to fulfill. It was crunch time.
Then I got the news—my cousin Charity, 100 miles away, had a massive heart attack and couldn't be revived.
In an ideal world, I would have dropped everything to be at her wake and say my proper good-byes. But . . . Help! I could hear my mind's voice screaming, Stop this swirling machine, I wanna' get off!
Instead, I watched myself go into an emotional tailspin.
Have you had a week like an annus horribilis? When you felt totally apart from where your heart wanted you to be?
The book of grace has verses that whisper to us in times like these. One of them is Romans 8:35-37 (NLT):
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? [As the Scriptures say, 'For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.'] No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
That week is over at last. Charity is with Jesus. Today is the Lord's day.