I suffer from acute anxiety. It’s often triggered by feeling like I have too much work to do, or by a conflict. It’s always ever-present for a couple of days, until it gently recedes into the background as I distract myself.
When I am anxious, or panicking, I often feel as though I am in some way detatched from reality. This is completely normal, but can be quite disconcerting. Especially as I have a habit of continually wondering about the nature of God, and my relationship with God. Anxiety makes me feel as though God isn’t there.
Today I had a difficult phone call. Difficult because it involved emotions that I don’t like having to process, memories and ideas I don’t like to think about. Specifically, relationships and problems that I cannot control nor particularly help with, but which mean a great deal to me.
Normally I cope with this by going and watching some mindless television – an effective but not particularly rewarding strategy for coping. Today, I made the effort to sit infront of my piano and play out how I felt. As I was doing so, I nursed my hurting soul, I chose to try to force a connection with the divine through my anxious state, and something dawned on me.
Jesus is always dying, everywhere, all at once.
There’s an episode in the reboot of Dr Who where the doctor “enters his own timestream” – he jumps into some sort of matter which contains all the memories and events he has ever been a part of. He is everywhere all at once, and in doing so creates some kind of beautiful paradox that saves the universe from evil.
Jesus is ressurected, everywhere, all at once.
Somewhere in the world, right now, someone is in incredible pain. Someone is dying. Someone has just been concieved, someone has just got engaged, and someone has just been born.
Someone has reunited with their long lost relative, and someone has just been fired. Someone is having a panic attack, and someone is enjoying the bliss that their yoga practises brings them.
I wonder if God is in all things, at all times, and at all times we can experience what that means. Often God is touted as the sticking plaster we seek out to make everything feel better. But more often than not, God doesn’t magically make us feel OK – instead people talk of feeling comforted. I think that’s a more helpful way of looking at it.
That’s not to say that God makes us “feel better”. I didn’t feel better for recognising what was happening in that moment. I felt deeper. I sensed that this is how things are, and that I can experience God in pain and suffering just as much as I can in joy and excitement – not as a remedy or a distraction but simply as a companion.
Just a thought.