One of Those Days

We're having one of those days. I say "we" because I'm pretty sure my wife and I are on the same page, even though we're not in the same place today. Actually, we've had a lot of those days together. They're the days we often don't talk about with others--when someone asks how you're doing, you're still likely to say "fine" or "good," even though it's a lie. And there are points on some of those days where I'm "fine" one moment and not another. Still, I'm not going to gloss over my day today. It's not fine.

It started yesterday with Beth feeling certain that she didn't get the job she had recently interviewed for. It's been almost two and a half years of her trying to get into her field. It's discouraging. And I don't always know how to respond. Sometimes she doesn't want to be encouraged; sometimes she wants to give up. Often I feel inept as a husband. And today she found out that she was scheduled to work from 11 to 5:30 on Thanksgiving Day (at Starbucks, which she enjoys working at, but it's not where she desires to be--nor can we live on the wages), so we don't really get to do a meal together that day. And sometimes, it's just tough be inside all day with 3-4 kids (as much as I love them all).

To be further honest, the Bible isn't always a place of comfort for this--especially in waiting for God's perfect timing. Sarah and Abraham had to wait until they were older than most people live to be to conceive a child. Joseph was in prison for years before being remembered. There are four hundred and some years of waiting between Malachi and Matthew--the Old and New Testaments. It's not always comforting.

One of our church's core principles is reading the Divine Hours twice a day (at least). The Divine Hours are Phyllis Tickle's compilation and adaption of a manual for fixed hour prayer--a modern version of what St. Benedict requested of monastic communities 1500 years ago. One of the things I appreciate about it, is that it's very Psalm-focused. And the Psalms don't gloss over the emotions of being human. I venture to say that there are more of them that share feelings of anger, depression, sadness, loneliness and hopelessness as there are "happy" psalms.

I don't often know how to pray when I'm having "one of those days." I don't have to--others have prayed for me, and the Spirit mediates my groans. Sometimes it's comforting just to know that those prayers of anguish and lamentation are in the Bible. That God can handle what we're feeling, and that other pillars of faith have been in the same boat. It doesn't take away the fact that we want this time to pass, but it's okay to have one of those days.

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