Not Enough, but Compared to What?

[Word count: 1255. Approximate read time: 4-5 minutes]

One day, I was talking to a mentor about how it drove me crazy that a particular woman would not so much as give me the time of day. No eye contact, no casual hello, nothing. One would’ve thought she was harnessing her mental energy to metaphysically wish away my existence. The world has never known reception so icy. I could’ve stored raw meat on her shoulders for months.

It dominated my thoughts. Did I say something to offend her? Was my hygiene bad? Does she resent guys with hair longer than hers? Does she dislike Black men? Skinny men? Eventually, I didn’t really want her attention anymore. I just wanted to know why I couldn’t have it, and what rendered me ineligible. Maybe I wasn’t the fit for her. And that’s okay, I guess. But things like this exacerbate a long standing tradition of feeling like I’m not something enough. Pick any something:

  • Not Black enough.
  • Not strong enough.
  • Not man enough.
  • Not important enough.
  • Not cool enough.
  • Not young enough.
  • Not established enough.
  • Not charming enough.
  • Not skilled enough.
  • Not accomplished enough.
  • Not Christian enough.
  • Not persistent enough.
  • Not talented enough.
  • Not attractive enough.
  • Not driven enough.

Bear this in mind. I am aware that I am indeed all of the above. It just seems like it’s never enough.

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God and the Silent Treatment

[Word count: 869. Approximate read time: 3-4 minutes]

“I— I got a question
I got a question
Where are you?
Did you leave me unbreakable?
Leave me frozen?
I’ve never felt so cold
I thought you were silent
I thought you left me
For the wreckage and the waste
On an empty beach of faith
Was it true?”

— Jars of Clay, “Silence

IgnoreMeWhat kind of Christian song is this? I don’t recognize any scripture. These lyrics aren’t uplifting. They’re fraught with doubt! Preposterous! Jars of Clay must have fallen away from God because of their crossover compromising. I must call my local Christian bookstore and alert them right away before someone loses faith. Oh, Jesus be a compact disc recall.

Psych. I love this song. Adore it to the core, depressing lyrics and all. And though it’s the sullen cousin of a funeral dirge, the fact that it exists comforts me. That means someone else has gotten the silent treatment from God and lived to tell about it.

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