Lenten Devotional: Wednesday, March 18

by Joe Dennis
March 18, 2015

Psalm 55:1-4: Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; Hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.

It was April 8, 1994 when it happened. Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, the media-proclaimed voice of my generation, killed himself. A part of me died that day, too.

A high school senior at an all-boys, Catholic high school, I definitely did not fit in. I wasn’t athletic enough to be a jock. I wasn’t smart enough to be a nerd. I didn’t dress well enough to be a prep. In a racially-diverse school with simmering racial tensions, I wasn’t white enough or brown enough to fit in with any race.

I was simply a loser. And so was Kurt Cobain. His lyrics of pain, loneliness and anger resonated with me throughout my high school years.

I’m so happy because today I’ve found my friends. They’re in my head. 
I’m so ugly, but that’s OK cause so are you. We’ve broken our mirrors. 
-“Lithium,” Nirvana

So when he ended his life that April morning, I was devastated. Making matters worse was the next day at school, when the hallways were filled with Kurt Cobain jokes and insults … even by teachers. It’s no wonder I contemplated the same fate as Cobain.

Thank God my attempt failed. Something happened over the next few months. I began to pray. But not the way I was taught to pray: say one “Our Father,” three “Hail Marys” and an Act of Contrition. I talked to God. I poured out my heart. I asked God to help me. I shifted my focus from my present to my future. I tightened my circle of “friends” to include only those who were supportive. I met Carla. And I finally got the professional help I needed to control my illness: depression.

God will not ignore our pleas for help. But we must open our hearts and minds to God, ask for the help, and commit to the change. I learned that talking to God is not just going through the repetitious moments of prayer and church, but rather having a conversation.

Prayer: God. We know you are here for us, always. Please help us commit to the change required to have our prayers fulfilled. Amen.