It’s an unlikely title, isn’t it? Martin Sheen, well-known actor, head of a Hollywood dynasty…and God’s mouthpiece?
Yes. At least, for me.
I’ve found that God talks to me from any and everything, any and everyONE, and this time, it happened to be Martin Sheen.
You may remember when I saw the movie, The Way. It deeply resonated with me, to the point that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was only a couple of days after seeing the movie, when I passed the book aisle at Target and saw Along The Way: The Journey of a Father and Son. I stood there, polarized by the sight of it, knowing that I was supposed to read it. Truly, it was like a command. I immediately downloaded it to my iPad when I got home.
I enjoy a good memoir. People’s lives, the ups and downs, the good decisions and bad, fascinate me. I love learning what makes people tick. This recollection of life, contrasting the perspectives of both Martin, and his eldest son, Emilio Estevez, and set within the experience of filming The Way, was well-written and interesting to read, but I’ll be honest; I found myself wondering why I had felt such a strong compulsion to read it.
Until I got to this, from Martin:
Self-pity is a terrible disease. Its focus is self-absorption. What about me? Look at me! There’s no joy in self-pity. It pulls us away from our true selves into egocentricity and isolation.
Stunned is the only adjective that works to describe me as I read his words. Stunned, and maybe numb.
“Oh my God.” I said out loud, meaning it.
You see, for the last three years, I’ve been wandering. Tossed about by a series of events over which I had no control, I found myself in a valley of sorts. I was understandably down and took some time with the Lord to let Him tend to me. It was good and right. Before long, He was ready to walk me out of there, but I’d grown accustomed to my seclusion and kind of comfortable with it. He was insistent, but I became belligerent…and disobedient. I wallowed in my sad place, and couldn’t understand why my relationships seemed strained, or even non-existent, and why God seemed so very far away.
It’s not like I didn’t know that things had changed for the worse. I’ve known that something has been incredibly wrong in my life for a long time. But I was somehow blinded to the real issue. Instead, I’ve tried treating individual symptoms, without success, and although I’ve even written about how my perspective on things has been shifting, I’ve remained powerless to make any change. The minute, however, I read Martin Sheen’s words, the blinders came off and I was finally able to see my real problem. I knew his words were God’s words to me.
It was, and is, a stunning revelation.
I’ll be honest. This is a revelation that is also embarrassing. Self-pity? Really?
I’m owning up to it, and realizing that I’ve been helpless to make real change because, apart from God, we are not capable of extricating ourselves from the unhealthy things to which we give ourselves over…these ‘false gods’ that serve only to oppress us. It takes identifying it, naming and claiming it, and then handing it over to allow God to make room for Himself.
As I read on, I found that Mr. Sheen went through a similar process, and I am so thankful that he was vulnerable enough to share it. He doesn’t know (and likely never will) that, by identifying his own issue, he allowed himself to be used to identify mine.
Like I said, God speaks everywhere through anyone. Maybe today will be the day He speaks to you, through me.
Oh, that I would be so blessed.
Oh, my sweet cousin, you bless all of us in so many ways, so many times. You are a gift from God who speaks to so many. We are grateful for you.
Your writing always resonates with me. I miss your Skype smile, friend. You are a blessing to me. Thanks!
Transparent. Deep. Personal. Blessings to you.
Due to events that occurred at work today, self-pity was one of the strong thoughts entering my mind as I drove home. No longer seems like the right option. THANK YOU for the extremely timely reminder, Melinda!
Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. It really spoke to me.
Love your heart. Love you.
and from one pity party girl to another — it’s time for us to GET BUSY doing life!
” … helpless to make real change because, apart from God, we are not capable of extricating ourselves from the unhealthy things … ”
It’s both a blessing & a curse. On the one hand, it’s a curse to wrongly conclude I am in control or can manage this unhealthy thing (whatever it is) on my own. It’s how I remain stuck.
On the other hand, what a blessing when I finally give in to the fact of my incompetancy; and become willing to be willing. You so eloquently & rightly point that out here.
Apart from Him, “stuck” would be my middle name.
Thank you – again – for another convicting and encouraging post, Melinda! Self-pity is something I see dear ones struggle with time and again. There is no better way for the enemy to keep our minds off of the One who IS than to keep our eyes focus on the ones who aren’t. And never will be.
And I agree – God surely does use anyone anywhere to do His will and speak His words. Thank goodness! 🙂