DASHED PLANS AND SELF DOUBT
These strange days have scrambled our routines and dashed our plans. This is Holy Week, yet it is hard to even keep track of the day of the week. We pause and wonder about our purpose, our identity, our destiny, and our loved ones. The questions percolating tend to turn us inward. Or, might they speak to our callings to care for each other?
THE DEMON SELF-DOUBT by Gerhard Frost
He’d had a great year
but now the going was hard
in first grade.
After reflection and brooding,
he came to his mother
with a sad self-assessment
and solemn conclusion:
“I don’t think I’m really first grade;
I’m more kindergarten type.”
For another, it had been a significant career,
seventy years of hard
and responsible work.
but now he sat alone,
downcast and discouraged.
As I approached him with a greeting he said:
“I’m no good; I can’t work at anything anymore.”
Each with a given dignity
and “justified by faith,”
both deep in self-evaluations
at the hands of the demon, Self-doubt,
both at a crossroad
and needing wise and compassionate friends.
Voices are needed,
my voice and yours,
voices of self-appointed guardians
of the fragile egos
of the very young and very old,
and everyone between,
voices to proclaim
that God has loved us
into dignity and worth forever.
Gerhard Frost (1909 – 1988) was a Lutheran Pastor, a college and seminary professor, and a poet. A student and friend of his described him this way, “…beloved by all who knew him. He had a Lincolnesque combination of strength and quietness about him.” That is an apt description of Gerhard Frost when I met him in 1978. As a guest speaker, he read his poetry at my internship congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Wadena, MN.