Mental Stealth

Lisa and I had a long sit-down talk the other night. Remember a few days ago I referred to the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? Warning: Don't read further if you don't want a spoiler. What had initiated that conversation was an image that flashed across my mind one night as I was going to sleep. As I was lying there, suddenly the image of R. P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson's character in the film) flashed across my mind. It was the picture of Chief Bromden smothering him with his pillow. McMurphy had escaped from the asylum and been captured. He underwent shock-therapy and had basically become a lobotomized vegetable, a sliver of the man he used to be. What struck me about McMurphy was that he didn't really seem to belong in the mental institution. But it became evident that he really didn't belong in society either. The Chief took mercy on him and ended his conflict. I shared with Lisa that I feel exactly like that: sometimes I feel like I don't belong in this institution. I feel out of place. I sympathized with McMurphy. I sometimes feel like this is constricting me, controlling me and killing me softly with its song. But I realize that I don't really fit out there either. I am ill-equipped to survive out in the world. I've tried it a couple of times and I haven't succeeded. I've been unemployed by this institution more than a few times. My record hasn't been consistent. I've tried to make a living out there in spite of the fact that my entire education has been clerical and theological. But it hasn't worked. And I've tried to be content and happy in the confines of the institution I've been trained to serve, but it hasn't been easy. Sometimes, like McMurphy, I want to escape. Sometimes I have. But I've come back. And often I wonder if it's because this is all I know how to do and this is the only way I know I can support my family. I feel like an ex-con... I only know how to survive inside. So, when a commenter says to me today: "Sometimes I cannot figure out why you are a pastor," I do not find this strange or even new. I've been asked this so many times, and sometimes by myself. I am a conflicted man. When I'm in I want out. When I'm out I need in. Lisa reminded me that I have always struggled with this. I've always been conflicted. That's what makes me who I am. Sure, she wishes I didn't have to struggle so much, but then I wouldn't be David. Some people inside are going to wonder what I'm doing here. And... if I am here... why don't I just shut up and behave. In the end, I'm not shocked. But I bet some think I need therapy. twitter me Check out my tees HERE. I'm growing my inventory all the time. And check out my landscapish art here and my nakedpastor art here.

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