Neo-Luther

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Ignorance Observed

I just finished reading "A Grief Observed" By C.S. Lewis. If you read it, you will get a glimpse of the past three years of my life. C.S. Lewis lost his wife to cancer after just a few years of marriage, and in his grief he explored his feelings and thoughts in his journal. He later published them in this book.

My wife did not die, but she did leave me. A friend told me once "Well you must have loved her in order to marry her..." The truth is, despite all of her verbal and physical abuse, I really did love her. I still do, in a different capacity. It really goes to prove the words of the great Christian philosophers, D.C Talk... "love is a verb."

Verbs are action words (please don't be intimidated by my vast knowledge of the English language here). My marriage (however short it may have been ) proves that love is the strongest of all of the verbs. Hate, Fear, they pale in comparison. No matter how many punches I took, or how much dignity I lost it was still there. So much so, that in my grief I began to despise it.

Grief is the deadliest of all nouns. Our experience (Mine and C.S. Lewis's) with grief changed our view of God. I had spent too much time proving to myself that the God of the bible was the one true God. It would have been stupid of me to go against that. Though I am a fool most of the time I do not wish to make things worse by diving willingly into foolishness. Instead I would have conversations with God (very one sided in hindsight) that went like: "God, I see how it is, you aren't who I thought you were, but I see the true you now..." "I guess you don't HAVE to be giving to love me..." and "Fine, you want me to be alone for the rest of my life... Don't expect me to like it then."

I remember one day I was setting up the wedding chapel at the church I work for. I hate wedding chapels. I have vowed to only like them one more time in my life... if that. They have a way of making me feel depressed. I was alone and down in the dumps. I was praying, almost in tears (I don't cry... I just get almost there) "God, I'm lonely, I have a crappy job, I never see my son, my ex-wife takes every chance to slander me and cast doubt my way... What do you want from me? I don't have anything else to loose! I almost want no part of this anymore! Yeah I'm your bond servant, but I feel like a slave. So I'll do what you ask, but I won't enjoy it and I won't pretend to either."

This is the point that I heard a very clear voice in my head. It said "You are a spoiled rotten brat!" The voice was right... I am.

I think the core of grief is a sense of entitlement. I feel entitled to have a wife, kids, enjoyable job, respect... but I guess I'm not. There are no entitlements in the bible, unfortunately. I'll just have to learn to live with that fact.

9 Comments:

Blogger Lori said...

I'll the be the brave soul that comments! From my minimal blogging experience, usually when you bare your heart the comments stay at zero...

I agree that we are not given entitlements - such as a family, job, ect. - but there are blessings that the Christian can trust in. What you desire isn't foul or sinful - but good!
God will often allow testing at the point of our very deepest desires. Desire Him more if even from the place of a slave.

Just know God has a way of bringing life to that which was put aside as dead. When we consider a desire of our heart as dead we stop trying to save it, to nurture it - we bury it and move on in our grief. But, God gives LIFE. And, at the right time, He will breath life into that which you have reluctantly allowed to die.
One final note - we are all spoiled brats when we go through the dark night of the soul!

9:56 AM  
Blogger La Espada de Hueco Mundo said...

This may sound like I'm prying, but I came across your blog randomly, read it, and have to ask....

How does your wife leaving you equate to C.S. Lewis's wife dying of cancer? I just can't see the connection between the two. Lewis could never see his wife again, but you could. I don't get that.

If the world was fair, we [humans] would not exist. We would have returned to dust. So, yes you should never think you deserve anything. We are only given what we have because God loves us so much. We are not promised anything in the World. Not even tomorrow. The only thing that can never be taken from us is the redemption we're given through Christ. Even though we can deny it. So, I do agree with you that you are a spoiled brat, but on the same side of the coin, so is EVERYONE. You're not special in this, you've only just realized it. Congratulations.

10:03 AM  
Blogger davy crockett said...

I once read in a book on grief that loosing a job, a home,or a
spouse to divorce, is sometimes
as grieving as loosing someone to death. I don't remember the title
of the book or the author, but I
picked the book up at Baue Funeral Home. Also my wife and I lost a
very much loved pet, and I know that there's a big differance
between an animal and a human
being, but let me say that WE
GRIEVED!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Lori,

Thank you.
La,

I was not necessarily equating the two, however, I know for a fact the two experiences elicited the same response from two different people.

Emotions are a funny things. People do not always have proportional reactions to their experiences. Whether it is justifiable for me to have reacted emotionally and intellectually like I did, I will let you decide.

Regardless, I have learned a lesson and my relationship with God is better for it!

Thank you for posting La! You should post someday on your blog and share some of your wisdom and insight with us! :)

Davey,

I agree! Grief is a process with many degrees of pain!


Thank you all,
Anthony

6:54 PM  
Blogger Bob Carder said...

Anthony, the longer I get to know you the more spiritual maturity is spotted in your life.

I very much appreciate this post. Your pain was what I call indescribable. No one can say they understand. No one can say your pain is or is not like someone else's pain. I do know that your pain was and is at times so great you do not have human words to describe it. It is indescribable.

So I take seriously the pouring out of your heart. It always hurts more when you have and still love more.

God saw that and is honoring you for that. Blessings will merge with you just around some corner, at least that is my prayer and belief in the promises of God's Word.

We know you, your heart is full of love, it was broken, love was shut off, now I see a heart being restored and healed. No I see new signs of emotional openness and trust in God more fully. We all see love flowing a vulnerable love flowing again.

You are an unsung hero. Your son is blessed to stand beside you and to also follow in your shadow!

I'm very pleased to see you turn this corner. Around this corner are the blessings that have awaited you.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Bob Carder said...

Anthony, you are free and God works in freedom. Walk in freedom! Many blessings are sure to follow. Actually many blessings you now deserve. No more testings. You pass the test. God is pouring it on, will you look up and receive?

11:14 PM  
Blogger jen said...

Anthony,
I think divorce is more painful than death because you were rejected and you are having to fight custody battles and see/ or not see your son in pain and wonder if he is safe. It's ok to grieve and be angry at that. God is tough. He wants to hear your pain and he wants to know your desires.

By the way, you did a great job Sat.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Bob Carder said...

A re-read is even more stirring in my soul. You have a great future and all the lessons and pain will be used for your good and for those you love.

I love you, bro.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Anthony,

Been there, done that. Divorce is many ways is more painful than death because there's no closure. You have to keep dealing with your spouse. Divorce is an act of violence and does significant harm to the souls of all those involved, including children. God hates it.

But graciously it doesn't have to define who we are or be the end of our lives. Yes, those of us who are divorced (or married for that matter) don't deserve God's blessings. But he gives them to us anyway.

There's no guarentee that we will exprerience the blessing of a healthy covenant relationship (though that would be nice!), but there is a future that is better than we deserve!

Blessings,
Rick Dugan

10:30 AM  

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