The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: Between

July 21, 2009


There's a Sesame Street segment called I'm Between where a man sings mournfully about being "between" as he's hemmed in on either side by two other monsters. There's a monster on his left and a monster on his right, they push on him day and night. One tries to make him go one way, and the other tries to make him go the other way. These monsters gleefully bump him going, "Ha, ha, ha" while he drones, "It's the saddest thing I've ever seen."

I feel like that Between Man, with Monsters on my left and right trying to make me go one way or the other. There's what I should do on one side and what I want to do on the other side. One Monster is bumping me one way, the other Monster is shoving me the other way.

It would be easy to categorize things that I "should" do as good, Christian, emotionally healthy things, and what I "want" to do as bad, selfish, broken things. But these categories are surprisingly slippery. Sometimes, what I should do is angry and feels selfish while what I want to do feels gracious and kind.

What is common in both my shoulds and my wants is that both seem impossibly out of my grasp. I shun the dark, angry and selfish, but find myself unable to hold onto the gracious, giving and kind. I think evil thoughts that I quickly dismiss, but don't have "better" thoughts to take their place. I resist acting out the anger and disgust, but can not take the step to move into grace. Instead I find myself stuck, and, as the poor muppet man notes, "It's not a happy scene to be between."

The Very Expensive Therapist is on vacation (which I inevitably have contributed to) but I can imagine her asking me, "What do you think this is about?"

I would like to believe that I am between broken and whole, that this conundrum between shoulds and wants is one representation of me climbing out of this pit. I would like to believe that I am a very, very small version of the "here but not yet" nature of the Kingdom of God. That God's work in me is here and evident, but also in progress and incomplete. I would like to believe that between is as valuable a place as "here" or "there."

Yet this between stage is no more hopeful than the pit itself. I don't feel any better. Thankfully, I don't feel any worse. I just feel stuck -- between two furry monsters going, "Ha ha ha" as they head butt me to the left and to the right.

Watch I'm Between on YouTube:

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