“I wish you wouldn’t watch that crap.” Anabell fell onto the sofa next to her husband, scowling at the news reporter on the television.
“The world’s falling apart. We should be witnesses to it.” Another report scrolled across the screen. Something about fires, faithlessness, fighting in the streets; all in places they’d been to, once upon a time. Places they once thought would never be touched by such things.
Anabell scoffed. “It won’t fall apart any faster or slower, regardless of how long you watch.”
“But it’s meaningful. Isn’t it?” He finally turned from the screen to look at her for the first time that day.
There were wrinkles at the corners of her eyes that didn’t exist when he’d first met her. Her face was a little rounder. Her shoulders a little heavier. He loved the person in front of him even more now than he had when they’d first uttered the words. His feelings back then didn’t even compare.
Anabell took his hand. “This is meaningful,” she said.
“This won’t be written about in history books,” he pointed out. “No one will remember our names.”
“Then they won’t remember if we witnessed the end of everything.”
He turned back to the TV. Fire turned the sky black above government buildings and angry mobs. “Is it right to look away?”
“I don’t know. But it’s just a moment in time. Whether the wind is gentle or harsh, it’ll pass us by either way.” Anabell leaned against him.
Another urgent report crossed the screen. It was probably something important. He looked at Anabell, who smiled sadly at him, then turned off the television.
He lifted her hand to his lips and gently kissed her fingers. “I always hated the news, anyhow.”
It took me a while to get back on my feet after my last post, but I’m finally back to feeling better. I’m thankful that I had so many stories scheduled ahead because it took a lot of the pressure off and allowed me the time and space I needed to feel better.
This week’s story is based on my favorite book of the Bible. I’m a huge sucker for Ecclesiastes, which I’ve had described to me as the most depressing book in the Bible. Despite the unwarranted criticism I’ve heard regarding Ecclesiastes, I’ve always found it especially hopeful. On the surface, it’s a book that continuously stresses how life is meaningless. As you read, however, the writer reveals that joy can still be found–not in pursuing treasure, fame, or any of the innumerable things we think makes life enjoyable, but in the simple act of doing something you love and worshipping God. There’s a certain kind of peace that comes with this kind of philosophy. The things that make us feel as if the world is ending don’t matter. They’re pointless. In the end, all we can do is seek the thing that is truly meaningful: a life well-lived.
As I wrote the story, I was trying to call to mind those feelings that we can get while trapped in a doom scroll. In this regard, the husband in the story is a lot like me; he sees the terrible things in the world and a big part of him feels as if it would be wrong to look away or pretend that it’s not happening even if there isn’t anything he can do to fix the situation. Anabell, on the other hand, is the voice of Ecclesiastes that speaks to me when I’m spiraling. She says the world will do what the world does, and the only thing I can do is pay attention to the real life that exists in front of me.
I hope you find this story meaningful. Thank you so much for dropping in to read my work. Until next time: