eli's public journal
essays | drawings | thoughts
A heavy heart, carried lightly
A short essay on an emotional experience in times of corona virus isolation.

A heavy heart, carried lightly. This is my life, as close as you can get.

It’s the evening of May 8th, 2020. I’m in front of notebooks, books, a laptop. Great music is playing, the weather is lovely and I have a block of time, just for me. I start to write, draw, find inspiration, pull out what is in my soul.

I type out a few sentences, but then I figure writing on the computer is too stale for my scattered mind. I write by hand. Writing still feels too confining. I switch to my notebook and draw a few things, things in my mind, things around me, things in my life. I draw them side by side on one A5 page, simple pictograms. A pencil to symbolize drawing, a pen to symbolize writing, a laptop, a keyboard, a bicycle, a table, a book, my bed… I stop.

“These are the things, but what about the people in my life?”, I think. “What about friendships and relationships?”. I start out drawing two people hugging, but my first try fails. So does the second and the third. I figure that I can’t draw two people hugging, symbollically, from memory. I don’t think I’ve tried it before. I’m reminded of a line in one of my drawing books that I read in passing, just a few hours earlier: “People are not objects”.

I start to reflect on how long it has been that I have hugged someone, or someone hugged me. It’s been a while. I actually remember the last time, and the occasion but I’m not sure whether it was a thursday or a friday. My notebook isn’t sure either, but I can calculate back and say that either 56 or 57 days have passed since.

It happened a few days before the first legislation about restrictions of social interactions was put in place. I walked down the streets and a friend walked towards me. I was already hesitant as we approached, not sure whether we should hug or not, and was suggesting my foot as a serious alternative. He wasn’t accepting it. We embraced.

Time has passed and since then one fist bump was the only skin to skin interaction I had, the only touch where both parties where actively involved in a friendly matter, aside from two or three greetings by foot. In some sense this short fraction of a second was a memorable, touching, even a bonding experience. One which I will remember.

By now I’m overwhelmed with loneliness. I’m crying. One fist bump in two months is not enough. A few moments pass. I stop crying, wipe away my tears and feel a bit lighter, relieved.

I notice that over the past weeks I have become more fragile, my emotions more volatile. At times seemingly small things grab me deeply, rattle me to my core and all I want to is to cry, cry loudly. Sometimes it’s just about me, sometimes it is about something I have experienced and sometimes it is a deep compassion for somebody else.

One occassion stands out.

You may know this or not, but I’m a Christian. This means that I’ve come to accept as truth that a man named Jesus Christ walked the earth 2000 years ago, who was God who became human. His sole purpose on this earth was to provide a way, the only way, that we could restore a broken relationship with God. So he himself came to do everything and carry the full consequences so that we don’t have to, but instead can come to God by realizing and accepting that what Jesus did for us is the only way to close this gap.

A few weeks back I was walking down the streets and I had this picture of Jesus on the cross in my mind. I realized that he lived and breathed every second of his life until the very end as a sacrifice for us. He gave everything, out of love which we can receive. His glory is that not for a second he sought his own glory, but chose to live his life for us. I was so moved I cried and sobbed while walking the streets. I was moved because I couldn’t believe that anybody would sacrifice anything, just out of genuine, unconditional love, for me! Me, with all my faults, complaints, lies, indiscretions, indiscipline, impurity… and my heart cried, longed to let other people know, poured over – wanted to declare to others: “You are worth fighting for! You are worth being sacrificed for! You’re worth suffering! My sufffering”.

The fact that somebody suffered for me, loved me, and then still is on my side every day, cares for me, protects me and gives me love for others, carries me through and allows me to step by step change my character, my priorities, my life – I can’t find the words. Sometimes I forget this wonder, but other times I have the privilege to experience it with all I am. I wanted to let you know, show what I have tasted, and that this is a possibility for you too. That there’s a being out there, greater than us – which is seeking us, drawing us to him, fighting for us. He has given his life for us, he desires our companionship just for the sake of it.

If this all sounds magical and weird to you, I understand. But the incredible thing is that if you seek out God he will find you. If you seek out truth, you can’t escape it. He’s everywhere and you can start anywhere: By reading the bible, researching the historical credibility of the new testament, looking up philosophical arguments for God, reading about miracles or biographies of Christians, or maybe just write or ask me about it? If you want another bread crumb, here’s a very different personal story from mine, that moved me, by David Wood (it’s 34 minutes long): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DakEcY7Z5GU

I’m still bad at talking about this, but I wanted to let you know. Now you know. Go the way, push through, take care. Find the love that loved you first.


This post first appeared on Facebook.

Last modified on 2020-05-08

Comments Disabled.