Friday, September 11, 2009

Heavy Man Stuck
Scott Kolbo
Creative Commons Attribution

I've known this for a long time.

I know it because I know what we are referring to when we pretty up the last day of Christ by calling it His passion. The Passion of the Christ. What we're really saying is suffering. The suffering of Christ.

But I forgot.

I forgot when a few weeks ago my cousin/friend Robin sat me down in her mother's kitchen -- not two minutes after I arrived from about eight years since the last time I'd sat in that kitchen. When it was just her mother's and not hers, too. She sat me down and asked: What is your passion? At that time I didn't think: She's asking me about my suffering. I didn't even think it when my eyes got liquidy and I exhaled: I haven't felt safe to speak of my passion for a while now.

Why else but the suffering?

And I forgot last weekend at a Labor Day bonfire when my new friend Laura asked me the same question, just put another way: What do you love to do? I forgot that the prickly pain in my gut is actually passion.

I almost remembered when I talked with another friend on the phone this week and she told me that she didn't feel like it was the right time for her to be pursuing her musical gifts. I told her: My heart hurts that you don't. I didn't realize right that minute that pricking, teary, insomnia-producing pain is passion.

Last night I sat with my friend Lori, drinking Yuengling's on her couch so late that it was almost the middle of the night. And I told her how earlier that day Pastor Craig had reminded me that the root of the word passion is the same as suffering. And that I had a bad case of it. And I told Lori that what made it worse was that I felt shame to care so much. That I felt like I just annoyed people all the time caring so much. And that I had to get over that quick.

Or die.
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