An ongoing theme in my life of late is letting go and letting God be God. Dropping that which is not mine to carry. I’ve wrestled with this my entire life, one of the drawbacks of growing up with narcissists who project themselves onto you.
My mother today actually goes through my trash in the middle of the night, retrieving what she thinks I should not have thrown away, what she disapproves of my having let go of. We already recycle, compost, and go to the dump, so this is a violation, an invasion, a no confidence vote, a declaration of her compulsive need for control.
It is also something I cannot fix, something I call a dead sparrow, one of those many things in the world that God says, just let it go. Save yourself the aggravation and let it be. It’s not yours to fix, that’s yet another dead sparrow you’re trying to play with.
When my kids were small, they liked to pick up dead crabs on the beach and I would say, “just leave the dead things be, there are germs there.” Of course kids are often fascinated by all sorts of mysterious dead things. Let’s poke it with a stick and see if it’s really dead! I am still that kid sometimes, always trying to poke dead sparrows.
God has been good to me and faithful, always reminding me to put down the dead sparrows. Sometimes I fancy myself a bit like a dog, the dog that you bathe and groom for hours, who promptly runs out in the yard and rolls in the stinkiest, most disgusting thing he can find. Maybe after all that pampering he doesn’t recognize himself and he just wants to smell like a dog again? I have no idea, but I am like that dog sometimes, racing out to jump in the cesspool.
I am enchanted with Mary Shelley, with her Frankenstein monster, with her theme of resurrecting the dead, of that god-complex that sometimes lurks within science. I grieved for her monster, felt bad for him, poor misunderstood monster and all those mean villagers trying to kill it with fire. I often forgot that the creature wasn’t even of God, that our mad scientist was dinking around with forces that did not belong to him, creating something that was not of the Creator.
I want that monster to have a happily ever after ending because I am just corny that way, but often forgotten in there is the entire concept of God’s will. Left to my own devices I would champion for a creature not even of God, as if I myself have the power to resurrect dead sparrows, whether God wants them resurrected or not. Zombie sparrows.
Frankenstein is the ultimate dead sparrow and not a unlike a dog might, every bit of my being wants to pick it up and carry it around or perhaps just roll in it. It is not my will, it is not my nature, to just let the dead sparrows be. Heck, it is not even in my nature to recognize them as dead sparrows in the first place.
Few dead sparrows are as melodramatic as the Frankenstein monster, they are often just little things, aspects of ourselves that God has put to rest, tiny bits of control we struggle to relinquish, old, dead things replaced with leaps of faith and trust and hope.
Letting go and just letting God be God, that’s sometimes a tough one for me.