When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy on me; then I acknowledged my brokenness to you and did not cover up my iniquity… And you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:3-5 (NIV)
Beloved, can we talk? Things aren’t okay with you. Anyone who loves you can see it. It’s all over your face. I know you think nobody can see. But don’t you remember? “Not a sparrow should fall to the earth but that I know it.”
You haven’t been okay for a while now. I know you’re trying to put on a brave face, not be a burden, look after yourself. I get it. I know you’re keeping it together for other people—for your family, for your boss, for the other volunteers. You do so much. You can’t keep doing this forever. And I don’t think you even want to.
The empty bottles are piling up. Things you used to be able to laugh off will linger for days. It’s like there’s a heavy hand pushing down on your neck all the time. Tell me what’s wrong. I mean really, truly, deep-down wrong in that place you never talk about.
You care about other people. You love them even. And heaven knows they’re not perfect (trust me on that one). Why can’t you give yourself that same grace? Love yourself the way you love your neighbor? Just be honest, I promise I won’t tell another living soul. I created the world with just a few words, but my silences are deeper than Sheol. Just tell me.
God—forgive me, so that I can truly live.
John Edgerton is Lead Pastor at First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois.