Monday, June 22, 2009

Yes, I Am A Mush Pot


I realized a few years ago that I am a big mush pot. It doesn't take much to pull at my heartstrings, and at times, I find that very annoying. I don't want to cry at the end of a movie or a book, but sometimes I do. Mind you, part of my reaction depends on the subject matter. For instance, the movie Tears of the Sun and the books My Sister's Keeper and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows always get me.

Anyway, it isn't just fictional things that make me emotional. I find myself more in tune with other people's emotions and feelings. I am not the best people reader, but I pick up on a few things. When someone is sad or angry, I sometimes feel sad or angry with them. When events happen that turn whole worlds upside down, I feel apart of them even if I have no connection or personal ties whatsoever. I was sad and felt for the people of Pakistan when I found out that Benazir Bhutto was killed. It's totally random, I know, but it's true. When I learned that Nancy and Peter Feist passed away unexpectedly a few days ago, I felt (and still feel) very much apart of the community that loved them and misses them.

It's amazing how much a person that you never knew can touch your heart. It's amazing how God can work through total strangers to help you learn about yourself. I am emotional, but it isn't a bad thing. If indirect events and strangers can have such an impact on me, I know for sure that direct events and loved ones can be even more powerful. We go through things in life that we might not enjoy or want to do. Things happen that test you. We can recover, it's just a matter of being able to move along. With God, we can make it through anything. It is this quote from Thomas Merton, from his book New Seeds of Contemplation, that I find most appropriate and comforting:

"The man who does not permit his spirit to be beaten down and upset by dryness and helplessness, but who lets God lead him peacefully through the wilderness, and desires no other support or guidance than that of pure faith and trust in God alone, will be brought to the Promised Land. He will taste the peace and joy of union with God."

1 comment:

Mark G. said...

When I read your post title, the song "I'm a little teapot" immediately came to mind. However, I have to admit that I'm a closet mush-pot, too.

One reason I don't lector is that when I read Scripture aloud, the Word often seizes me & I get all shaky & choked up & am sometimes unable to continue speaking.

If being a mush-pot means being soft-hearted, that's a very good thing. God can penetrate soft hearts, but he can't do much with hard hearts, not without being painfully broken open first.