First Glimmer of Hope
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I wish to tell you the story of my life, divorce, and where I am right now. The attentiveness of your hearts is all that I ask.
A long time ago, I recall viewing an episode of M.A.S.H. that has stuck with me over the years. In this episode, a B-52 bombardier was brought into the facility because he had recently been in a crash. His physical injuries were not too great, but he had a peculiar mental disorder. He thought he was Jesus Christ. As the story unfolded, the psychiatrist was brought in and described to us the audience that the bombardier was simply unwilling to hurt people anymore, even if it was from 50,000 feet and he didn't have to see the affects of what he did. Later in the episode, Radar Orielly asked the bombardier if he was in fact Jesus and the man said yes. Radar, not wanting to offend nor to loose out on such an opportunity, timidly brought forward his teddy bear and asked the man to bless it. After blessing the poor flea-bit bear as well as Radar himself, Radar boldly asked a very poignant question; "Does God answer all prayers?" The man looked down with great sadness and answered, "Yes. But sometimes the answer is no."
Early in my life, I discovered a couple of basic concepts that have guided my actions ever since. The following three things have proven to me to be enough to separate the various debates of our times. They are:
In my life, I have studied these three areas. In doing so, I've met many fine scientist, philosophers, and a few really remarkable religious people. Of the lot, for all of their various bickering, astute insights, etc., the group that has always amazed me with their true reverence for the majesty of God are the scientists. For they, in their day to day dealings with the world, have almost to the last one come to the same central conclusion. The universe is too ordered, too understandable, to have come from chaos. In this one statement, God's presence shines through.
When I was found by my wife, I was 25 and not really looking for love or marriage. I had spent most of my life simply getting by. I never considered myself "a catch" and in fact had no interest in looking for someone because I felt I wasn't worth a second look. Most of my jobs and friendships had been based on simply "being in the right place at the right time", seldom on "living the life I wanted". She caused me to look into myself for what might have been the first time and admit to myself that I was a pretty OK kinda guy. I got a chance to show off abilities and levels of concern that I had never had any opportunity to exercise before. These things where what I took as a sign from above that this was the woman for me.
About a year later we were married. Over the next eleven years, we had three beautiful children (two boys, 2 and 4, and a girl 9), a small kennel of dogs, cats, gerbils, and other creatures in our lives. Some of the things that I loved about my wife most were the simple little things; snuggling, waking up next to her, snickering at how she tried to keep on sleeping most days even with the alarm clock playing. It was a beautiful life for the most part, and I was grateful that God had blessed me with this woman.
We had our share of sad times also; one miscarriage, her mother disappearing without a trace, several of her pets dying. On our eleventh anniversary, things came to a head. I tried to give my wife a present, in front of our children and a few others. She looked at it, opened it, and then handed it back saying, "I don't think I can take this." For her, the sad things had just overwhelmed her. A few days later, events occurred that made it clear to me that she considered our marriage as over.
Early on in my divorce, I found myself bartering with God, "Please let my marriage continue." I implored God to help my wife "see the light", that I'm not a bad person, I'm not her enemy, I still have worth, I was not the cause of most of her pain. In asking these questions, I became aware of feelings of rejection, hurt, and despair the likes of which I had never previously encountered. However, God answered my request with a firm "No". Much like the bombardier, my sadness associated with that "no" still hangs around me. Never before in my life had "no" ever had such an impact.
Even in my grief however, I find myself remembering the inexplicable beauty, symmetry, and order found in our universe. Whether on the subatomic level, in the awesome power of quasars, or in the hearts of people, God is there. God has a plan. Placing trust in that plan has been and continues to be one of the hardest things I've ever been called upon to do.
Patience is a virtue, they say. My Beginning Experience (BE) weekend dredged up all of these thoughts and memories. Much like the bombardier who no longer wished to hurt anyone, no one likes the pain, hurt and anguish that many of us are feeling right now. I do not want to be without a wife to hold, to kiss and care for, but God has told me "No, that is not for you right now". Much like my scientist friends, I come back to the thought that God has a plan. If the beauty of protons, neutrons and electrons can move scientists to revel in the majesty that is God, I must have the patience to see the beauty that is the plan God has for me.
Now a days, I try to remain still and listen for God to give me my queue. I'm unsure if there will ever be another "someone" for me. Maybe it'll happen like last time and someone will drop out of the sky and find me. Maybe I'll stumble into a long term relationship with someone I already know. Maybe...but I'll just have to try to have patience, listen very hard for God's queue, and trust that the reason for all of the hurt that I'm feeling now will go towards some purpose that God has set for it.
Written February, 2000.