I finally broke through and realized that I am a consummate scorner. I have cultivated this for many years, and especially the last five. I will tell now, I am to scorning as Tiger Woods is to golf. I have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a durmoid brain tumor, lung issues with a chemical accident, manic-depression requiring extensive hospitalization, and a low thyroid requiring meds. And, on top of this, the death of a newborn daughter.
My faith has been extremely challenged through all of this. I have pastored a church and taught classes at a local Bible college, all with a lot of enthusiasm and purpose. My students and my congregation were being blessed. But all of this pretty much disintegrated around me and I found myself with a whole lot of nothing.
Scorn has never been anything I gravitated to. But it has ‘seeped’ into my thinking, through a slow and steady presence. It works like mercury poisoning. It has touched me as a gradual toxin, slowly sickening me with its constant contact. I haven’t been connected with the light as I should have. But over an extensive amount of time, a venomous and noxious filth has been introduced into my heart and my thinking. It must be like watching someone die from ‘radiation sickness’.
To scorn means to become “ ’competous’, disdainful, scornful, to mock.” I never, ever dreamed I would be brought to this point. But life has continuously rolled over me, and I find I just can’t make it work anymore. I definitely do understand the promises of God. But I definitely do not understand God’s grace on me. But you might as well try to explain the color ‘blue’ to a blind man.
I am Bryan, the scorner. I am also ‘a spiritual beggar’, with a significant mental illness. I should be on the streets pushing a shopping cart and drinking cheap vodka. When I start to scorn, I get mean and cynical. I’m contemptuous and I sneer at whatever crosses my path that day. I hear voices and ‘tune in’ radio stations. All I lack is a ‘tin-foil’ hat, which I have seriously considered.
My depression molds my thinking, and my despair rules the rest. The promises of God are not for me, and they seem to always be out of my reach. In many ways, I am an ‘unbelieving’ believer (there are many people like us). My own frosty coldness and hardness never seems to amaze me. I don’t want to be this way. God, help me please.
A defining word, for people like me is this: “self-forgiveness“. I consider myself above average when it comes to forgiving others. I look forward to forgiving others. But, I just cannot forgive myself. I simply can’t let myself ’get off the hook’. At times I do sense a comfort and a peace over these sins, but very soon they begin to rub me raw. Like blisters, or ‘a stone in my shoe’, I begin to limp again. They are incredibly persistant.
This is not self-pity. I am not looking for any manner of attention or warm hugs. I do though want to open up my darkness so the light gets in. I must learn to forgive myself, if I will ever walk clean. This is imperative. The adulteress who fell at Jesus’ feet and wept managed to forgive herself of a great deal of sin. Those of us with mental illness/addictions have to come to this same point. Is Jesus’ love enough to cover me?