Thrashing percussion. Winds pound heart drums. Torrents flood the soul. A house of cards crumbles atop sandy foundations. Flushed away by cynical rains.
It’s ugly. This place of apathy. Of spiritual sloth. Pain is the catalyst for soul-shredding cynicism. The heart grows thick, thorny vines. Try to get in and you’ll bleed. Hope is snuffed. Life… choked.
And there I sit. Alone. Disbelieving. Disillusioned. Disengaged. Spiritually/relationally/emotionally constipated.
Cynicism is truth minus hope. Reality without faith. Life stuck in muck. When it grips my heart, imprisons my soul, I reek porta-potty aromas. The stench of death emanates, permeates my being.
When Cynicism Reigns (An Illustration)
I have single friends. They struggle with the pain of life, alone. As months and years pass, insecurities and anxieties increase. They try hard to be “okay” with their singleness, while fighting the urge to punch the sincere but clueless aunt that says for the millionth time, “So, when are you going to find yourself a husband/wife?”
When cynicism reigns, empathy is handicapped. Care is disabled. Hope is mocked. Vile thoughts take flight: “You think singleness is painful? You think a companion, finding a soul-mate, will remove your pain? You’ll be trading one pain for another. Fool! Life is just one pointless struggle after another! Your endless pursuit of filling the emptiness is futile. No one cares. Not even God. So, give up! Eat. Drink. Live it up, for tomorrow we die!”
Overcoming the Dictator
The Beast has fully formed. The wicked king triumphant. Faith/Hope/Love smashed to bits. Dark clouds proved too powerful for Son’s rays. The storm has engulfed; permanently swallowed life.
Or has it?
Something nudges within. A faint light pokes through dead, prickly vines. Desire stirs. Seeds planted long ago sprout. I thirst for something more. I’m desperate for life. I can’t take this self-contained prison!
I want to stand by my friends. I want to believe and hope and encourage. I want them to thrive in The Way, The Truth and The Life. I want to believe again. Believe that pain is not the end, but the means. That there’s Something larger and grander that transcends my current struggles, and is ultimately Good.
The cynical dictator riding dark clouds will not reign supreme. Huff and puff and blow my house down, the Rock still remains. And somehow, mysteriously, I find my feet firmly planted. I’m alive. Expectant air expands my lungs.
Ancient Hope-Infused Truth
And here I stand, rediscovering an ancient truth. More storms will come, but I’m ready to believe and engage, because truth/reality/pain do not have to be devoid of hope. Cynicism belongs in Hell where it will reign forever. Hope belongs in my heart and its foundation and fulfillment are found here:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)