A couple of days ago I was in bed pondering an old memory. Two old memories, actually. They both happened on the same day. The weird thing is that these were old memories and I hadn't really thought of them in a while. Suddenly they popped up and I made a connection I hadn't made in the past.
Okay, the first memory: I was living in a house share with my friend, Tiina, and her cat became pregnant. The cat gave birth on either Friday the 13th of Saturday the 14th, Valentine's Day. The mommy cat was so needy she didn't want any of us to leave her but we had planned a valentine's day party. So Tiina ended up staying with the cat in her room and not attending much of the party. This was the party where I met my future hubby. Yep, I met him on Valentine's Day.
The second memory: The day before the party, or maybe the day of the party, Tiina and I were coming from the mall with party goods and we saw a school bus. When I walked past it I saw a hippie type young man, our age. I said, "Do you want to come to a party at our house?" He pointed to the back of the bus where a woman was in labor and said, "Could you allow us to park our bus in your backyard while my wife has the baby?" Talk about strange and put on the spot! I was willing to do it but Tiina said, "No! Don't get involved." So we went home. I felt so guilty, being so willing to invite them to a party but not able to let them come to my house and have the baby out of the privacy of the mall parking lot.
So I'm lying on the bed and suddenly it dawns on me: (I MEAN Suddenly, and I had never thought of it before) We were there for a cat to give birth and we weren't there to help the human woman give birth. ????? What's that about????? I hadn't seen the connection or the juxtaposition until two days ago. Why did I suddenly see it?
Of course it's part of life to suddenly understand something twenty or so years later but this was so weird.
Then I got to thinking that I failed that couple. (Okay, maybe it was best and maybe they should have or did end up at the local hospital but who knows?) But then I started thinking of other folks I've failed.
I remember walking in NYC and I saw a blonde frail looking young woman walking about in a daze. So, of course, I start talking to her. Turns out she was let out of the mental institution and put on the street. I wanted to take her home with us but my friend Tiina objected. Instead, I gave the girl a jacket... cause it was a cool night. But really, what good was that?
I also remembered another time I was about fifteen and passing an alleyway in NYC when a young well-dressed white fellow walked out looking dazed and staggering. He managed to stutter and to hold on to me and say, "Help me!" I was so stunned and surprised. I thought he must have been high on something and I scooted away from him. Later it dawned on me that perhaps he had been mugged and that was the reason he was dazed. Of course, I was entirely to blame for that.
Now, why the heck did I suddenly think of this? Is all this a result of my recent prayers: "Lord, deliver me from what I don't know. Deliver me from what I have gotten used to." ???? Is God showing me that in some ways I feel I don't deserve good because I have failed others? Is some kind of self-blame going on that is messing up my capacity to receive blessings from God?
Well, every day I'm praying that prayer...and I'll see what happens...as God unveils ---and sheds light on---the darkness.
There's a great Christian poem that goes:
I never cut my neighbor’s throat;
My neighbor’s gold I never stole;
I never spoiled his house and land,
But God have mercy on my soul!
For I am haunted night and day
By all the deeds I have not done;
O unattempted loveliness!
O costly valor never won!
I'll be clear though: I don't think God wants me to feel guilty. I think I feel guilty and he wanted to show me that I feel guilty and perhaps my feelings of guilt was getting in the way of my receiving healing because I don't believe I deserve it.
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