No, I'm not dead, or even suicidal....
It occurs to me that it's been more than a month since I've written or posted anything here, and that my last entry was a tad on the dark side. Really, it was a reflection on a dark time I had gone through a few weeks prior and a glimmer of good that came from it. More or less it is my living experience of, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Cor. 10:12-13) and "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
I remember some time ago, I explored that word "temptation" as it is used in the New Testament. I found that in most cases the same word in the original Greek is translated variously as "trial", "temptation", and "test". This was a valuable lesson, because with every "trial", no matter its source - whether it be a temptation from without seeking to directly draw us into some sin or another, or one from within, stemming from our own lusts (and truly, if an external temptation doesn't find an internal drive to attach itself to it doesn't stand a chance), or a hardship of any kind: job loss, illness, personal rejection, poverty, etc. - the trouble is ultimately the same. A hardship, any hardship, can be the source of temptation. Every hardship, every temptation is a trial.
A tempest in a teapot is still a tempest, if you happen to live in a teapot that is.
And so, my tempest - a terrible mistake I didn't actually make, but inexplicably thought I had, and the fears and doubts that were exposed by it - became a source of deep anguish, and a poem.
Since then I've been catching up on things neglected during my year of public service, and planning for our first vacation in three years, which we are on right now! Hopefully I will return home refreshed and ready to face my "real life" with renewed hope and vigor, and vacation pictures!