13 April 2016

Ahinoam: Two-Faced Man

"Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him." (1. Samuel 16:14)

I hardly know you anymore:
one minute yourself,
the next – a stranger.
An evil spirit is gripping you,
gnawing from the inside,
consuming you within.

You wear two faces –
I hardly know you.
When are you yourself?
When are you It?
Where is the man I fell in love with?
Is there a hope I can have him back?
Or has the evil spirit consumed you,
stolen you from me forever?

I can't bear to watch
as it slowly destroys you,
as you plummet
into a whirlpool of despair,
spiraling down,
caught in a vicious circle of pain,
going under,
into darkness,
no longer yourself.

I can't bear to watch,
for it slowly destroys me,
poisoning my love
into worry and pain.
I want to be your helper,
surrounding you with love,
but now I only cut myself
on the broken shards of my heart.
I promised I would love you
in sickness and in health,
in good times and in bad,
what if this burden is too heavy,

and bearing it too much?

Come back to me, my love –
wake up from this nightmare,
rise up from this death!
Come back to me, my love –
I want you free again.


[13. April 2016]

Ahinoam is the wife of Saul (1. Samuel 14:50). Saul was the first king of Israel, but lost his right to the kingship. I find Saul a very interesting and complex character. An important thing I learnt from my Old Testament professor is that God did not reject Saul as person, but as king - and Saul's mistake was clinging on to the kingship after God had actually already taken it away from him.

Saul was plagued by an "evil spirit", a kind of depression. David was brought to Saul's court to give him "music therapy"; it did not always succeed in calming him, though, because he still tried to kill David under the evil spirit's influence (1. Sam 18:10-11).

From the perspective of his wife, Saul's condition must have been near unbearable. It is very hard to have to watch someone you love suffer, practically turning into someone else ("two faces"). You feel totally helpless, it can become too much for you to handle. At the same time you feel the responsibility to help (even while failing at it again and again), and your love presses you to do something - but sometimes your help is not accepted, or causes more damage, or pulls you down as well. There's a limit as to how much you can do and how much you should do. It's important to know when the point comes to get professional help. And it's important not to stay alone with this kind of thing, to find someone to talk to and share the burden with.
Poor Ahinoam did not have much more than a music therapist for her husband...

If you are going through a similar situation as Ahinoam, maybe these links might help you...
Picture by Ernst Josephson

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