Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hail, hail, go away, come again...well, never!

This weekend a hail storm went through south of here. It took out various fields in its wake, a number of which belong to members of one of my congregations. These are their southern fields that were actually doing well, in contrast to their northern fields which have not received enough moisture and have basically crisped up in the sun. So a good number of them just watched this year's profit disappear.

In commenting to one of them that farmers are the world's biggest gamblers, this life long farmers wife replied that one time she told her husband that they should take the money they put into the fields every year and blow it in Vegas. At least they would have fun losing it.

They're solid people, taking it is stride. This is not a new situation. But still a tough one.

One family has it particularly tough. The dad is in Minneapolis, struggling for life. He's waiting on a heart transplant. They put in a pump, but the doctors estimate that it will only hold him over for maybe six weeks. His wife and three grown kids made the long trip and are there with him. While they're gone, the hail storm went through, and the folks at church tell me that it wiped out almost all their fields. Talk about hitting you when you're down.

Life is tough out here. It just is. And no one tries to pretend otherwise. We're all a storm or a bad choice away from losing everything. It's a very bare-bones, honest, simple way of seeing the world.

I still struggle with it. The emptiness, the loneliness, the harshness. I don't call my friends hardly ever anymore, 'cause what am I going to say? Compared to what other people have to deal with, what point is there in their having to hear the broken record of my depression, my loneliness? I've got a job, a home, a family. We have food on the table, clothes on our backs, and enough money to pay for what we need. Guess this weekend has been a reality check for me. Sure I'm in pain, but what's that compared to losing your year's income? Watching your husband or dad struggle to hold on to life? Waiting for a heart that may not come in time?

Dang, this is a dark post. Guess it reflects my thoughts these days. I've really been struggling this summer. I'm so unhappy here. I feel trapped. I feel alone. I just want to go home. But where is that?

ENOUGH with the downers! The Pity Party is over. Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.

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