Yesterday I reflected a bit on Thomas, and his doubts, that have wrongly imho gained him a bad reputation in some circles. Those kind of circles still exist of course, places where questions are not welcomed and where there is no real place for difference, churches can be among the worst places for this, there is a strange expected conformity that goes along with a celebration of the expected norm, this is one reason I hate Christmas morning services where there is a tradition of parading gifts, showing how blessed we are, somehow overlooking the manger, or at least decking it with tinsel. Is that a strange place to start a post-Easter reflection, maybe, maybe not; it strikes me that the one thing we overlook too often is that the resurrected Jesus comes bearing the scars of crucifixion, he is not untouched by the worst that the world can do, it is this Jesus who sends out the disciples, and this Jesus who promises to be with them always.
I have been thinking about that today, especially after a chat with my GP and an extension to my fit-note, stating that I am not fit for work, for another 2 weeks, I am heading for having been off for three months, and while I am much better than I was I still wanted to crawl back into bed yesterday, and even though I didn’t the desire tells me all is not well yet. That said I question myself, there have been days while working when I want to crawl back into bed, when I want to pause the world for a bit, or when I have taken an afternoon out to refocus and rebalance myself.
So, I find myself asking if I am just hiding from the world, and from myself, shrinking from getting back into things, the doubts and fears creep in; what if I can’t ever get back into the ebbs and flows of life and ministry again, what if I have never been good-enough, what if I have only been able to fool people for so long….
Good-enough, such a loaded phrase, what does it mean to be good-enough, and good-enough for what exactly? If the risen Christ can come bearing scars, and then get his hands dirty making a fire and cooking fish, if the risen Christ can talk so gently to his frightened followers and stick with them as understanding dawns, when almost none of them lived up to any illusions of perfection, and they were good enough for him, then so am I, not matter how I have stumbled and fallen.
Getting rid of the word good helps here, I am enough, I am enough for the God who made me and called my life into being, I am enough to contain the divine image and I am enough to be the person I have been called to be, and that person is myself. I am not called to be my neighbour or my colleague no matter how talented or gifted they may seem. I am not called to be those I look up to as mentors or role models, and though I can learn from them I am called to be me.
At this point in time I think I am re-finding myself, re-focusing and re-centring, and being restored, this takes time, just as it took time for the disciples of Jesus to come to terms with the resurrection, and even then it was a mystery that they came to accept as they lived in the liminal space between Easter and Pentecost. Even with the gift of the Holy Spirit filling them with awe and wonder, still mystery remained, and they gave themselves to it.
Healing is in many senses a mystery, maybe especially mental health wise, it is not something to be rushed, even though I feel an internal pressure to rush it, but one thing I know, I don’t have to wait until I am good-enough, because I am already enough, and when the time is right, I will take that enough-ness out into the world to share the good news again, for now I will rest, and share what I can.