We Quit Praying When We Should Quit, We Quit Praying When God Is Waiting For Us To Really Pray, We Should Stop Talking When God Is Waiting For Us To Speak
When drama arises it is good to participate in faith and remain calm. One young man fell foul of what can be described as a addictive personality cult. On reading his background it appears that he was the product of a broken home, the product of sexual abuse in a local Anglican boarding school, when he was just six or seven years old, and the serious unresolved issues of his life had led him down a dangerous road. Some of us have been in situations similar to this, and those of us who have have dealt with such messes have learned valuable lessons. Here is what I learned from him, and I am grateful to Almighty God for what I learned.
What he said and did disturbed and upset me. What the Bible has to say about cults of the family and traditions of previously unchurched and retreating men in pointing out the dangers they can cause and the dangers they do cause for those who are least equipped to deal with them. To speak to someone in these ways, in the company of someone in this situation, is dangerous.
He began by saying that he had grown up in a family in which our problems and conflicts had been played out in theitchhadjee. “We had balances and we did not spend time struggling with unbalancing in our lives,” he said. I was puzzled. “What are you saying?” I asked. He explained.
“We had a father who had an extent of education who had his moments of passion, his manic moments. Money was not his first concern. He was more mad in some areas of his life than others. One of his more memorable moments of rage was on the morning of his seventy third birthday when he woke up in a police station, from the effects of a drunkenness, looking for his sleeping son. He saw him six hours later as he passed away in hospital.”
The predominantly uneducated and undered to, character of this man, the evidence of his broken family life, and the fact that, as a convict, he would have to a great extent struggled with his prison lifestyle, gave him a powerful incentive to speak his truth.
The whole language he used could have melted the wooden walls of a prison. He used vivid imagery to illustrate a point which could have melted concrete, yet he was careful never to draw attention to himself, and though the whole tone of his story was consumed with anguish and suffering, there remained a paradox in his story. He gave me a compelling account of how, in a way, his recurring dreams helped him become the man he was. His open screaming at the top of his voice, when he remembered certain details, could have terrified or destroyed the prison guards, and in this way the man who revealed himself to be the youngest in his family, the son of a 35 year old wife, had saved his father’s life.
The other side of the story, the ” ambiguity” in his account, had the effect of releasing him from the responsibility heaped upon him, as the son of a rich father, to become the model prisoner-in-exile of a poor family. In releasing him from that role he had helped shape, perhaps for good, and into the hands of the law, he had also helped shape his “uttering ACCESS” into a new way of seeing his life and living. The man who had plagued his life with crimes had lost all credibility in his own eyes telling the world (and so might be its demise) that the worst of the worst had already been dealt unto him.
And so might be the demise of our own life with its seeming disconnection to the truth of who we are in the eyes of the world. The problem may have begun with the death of a loved one. When that happens, the world gains a glimpse into the same cold, hardened heart, the same excerpt from the book of that person that lived behind bars. That glimpse is the hope and promise of forgiveness in the face of loss, though never fully actualized in the soul’s eye. Yet, because God can be brutally cruel, the soul does eventually come to believe such words and desires for life. That belief acts like a conscience to act like a sponge and eventually returns a soul to the road of preparation for the next world, the road we chose before our loss.
That soul has chosen to have no part in our personal lives anymore. Instead, it likes to consider what it can get out of a miserable marriage, miserable children and miserable parenting, no matter if those things are actually worse than the prisoner’s reality.