I Have No Idea What to Name This Post

He feels like a bird whose wings have been clipped. 
Wanting nothing more than to fly, 
to soar high
above creation 
-- as part of his nature longs to express itself -- 
to enjoy his existence, 
knowing he has a loving nest
to return to 
in order to,
once again, 
after a long days' journey, 
find protection, comfort, love. 
But he can't -- he just can't -- he can't find his flight.
The fragile wings of this little bird have been clipped. 
So now the walls of his nest are prison bars 
to keep him from soaring, 
from love, 
from life.

You see me quite often. I'm that single guy you see getting gas, ordering pizza, in line at the grocery store, at the Dollar store, shaking your hand at church, smiling and confessing that he's "doing fine," all the while he is in agonizing pain that he'd rather not bring up in shallow, polite conversation. You know me. You actually think you know me well. I'm that lady whom you think has life all together. She seems to have the answer for every problem. She gives great advice, cares deeply for others, and yet she is held in the prison of her mind, her problems, her insurmountable problems. You think she is the most well-put-together individual on earth.

The truth of the matter of life is that we think we know people well but we may very well know little about their struggles, their pain, their needs and their desires. From the "unspoken prayer request" at church, to eyes that don't match the smile of the lips, we often hide our pain from the rest of the world. Called to community, we prefer the dark and uncomfortable walls of our room, as they seem to, day after day after day after day, be closing in around us.

Depression assumes many forms; but there is one overarching banner that depression flies over its stony, gigantic, looming castle: hopelessness -- the feeling that this pain will last for the rest of your life -- the feeling that relief will never come, that life actually is as bad as you think, and that you are unloved, unwanted, and loathsome. "It's the most wonderful time of the year," sings Andy Williams over your car radio, and yet you feel it's the most gloomy, the most daunting, the most disheartening time of the year. Lovers are snuggling together to get warm. Meanwhile, all you want is to be loved and to be wanted by the love of your life, and chasing that desire is like chasing the wind, like holding water in your hand, like trying to fly by flapping your arms.

If you have found the love of your life, and you know in your heart this is true, would you take a bit of advice from the loveless? Hold that person so tightly to you that breath nearly escapes the lungs. Let that person know daily, and never miss a day, that you deeply, tenderly, intimately and desperately love them -- not for what they do, not for how they make you feel, but for who they are as a human being. Count yourself the most blessed among mortals to have found such a love as this. Be faithful in heart and mind to this person, because no one else on earth is like this soul, and you have been graced to love and to be loved by such a precious gift as this.


My photo

My name is William Birch and I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition but converted, if you will, to Anglicanism in 2012. I am gay, affirming, and take very seriously matters of social justice, religion and politics in the church and the state.