The Stranger

I feel that I must explain something to you, although you may not pay any attention; nevertheless, this is something that I feel must be told—for my own sake, and maybe for the sake of another.


Most days, not long after I wake up each morning, I no longer recognize myself. I used to see myself in the smile of another, after I’ve said something mildly humorous to them; and I recognized myself in the lighthearted replies of those I met throughout the day.  But I no longer see that, nor do I fully trust it when I do–


because my smile used to be genuine, born out of a joy of life and a trust in the wholesomeness and godliness of everything I encountered. I didn’t question this even though there was obviously plenty of empirical information to the contrary (just watch the news for a few minutes).


I feel I must apologize to the optimists, and those who still enjoy this beautiful world. I feel as if I’ve left your team, although I can’t say that I’ve left by choice; somehow I feel I was taken, or traded off the team through some cosmic deal.


Now my smile is generated by a visitor within me, at the direction of my heart, to save others from seeing the sorrow that exists behind my eyes. And I wonder now, if the smiles of those I meet, are also made by these same visitors, for the same purpose of saving others the pain of seeing the sorrow we each hold inside.


God sometimes puts us in a coma, when the pain is too painful to bear, to allow us to heal unconsciously over time. Perhaps I’m in an emotional coma, walking anaesthetized, so as not to explode, or implode along the way.


I’ve become a stranger to my life. It is the same world, I’m certain — it hasn’t changed — but I’ve changed, and somehow I don’t fit in my own life anymore. Isn’t that strange?


I said earlier that it takes some time after I wake up each day, to lose track of myself — so for a while I am still intact. And this is true, thank God; sleep resets my personhood each night, and I rise in the morning restored. Beautiful sleep, that time and place without anxiety, or the fear of loss. I know this is a blessing, as not everyone can say this; for some the anxiety and fear follows them into their dreams.


There is one other place and time where the strangeness of my life falls away, and I recognize myself again—in prayer. Isn’t that beautiful? That time when I seek God and call upon Him — is the same time when I find myself again.


I think we should all pray a lot more than we do: for the peace of mind, the joy of heart, and for the love of God.  When we do, we are no longer strangers to ourselves.


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