Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dark River

I awoke a little earlier than usual this morning... a bit after four a.m.

I took the dog for a walk. I went down to Molalla River State Park and walked along the river, out into the fields...

This is the same field where the Lord once spoke to me, telling me He understood what I was going through.

The silence was too much. Feeling in the darkness I carefully pulled my iPod out of my pocket, unwrapping the ear buds, placed them carefully in my ears (I have an infection in my right ear) and put some Amos Lee on, soft and low.

Woah, black river,
gonna take my cares away.
Woah, black river,
gonna take my cares away.
Gonna take my cares,
gonna carry my cares,
gonna take my care away.
Gonna take my cares,
gonna carry my cares,
gonna take my care away.

I watched the Willamette River flow through the darkness, as it has for centuries... and I wished I could cast my troubles into it. I wished that I could float away on it... away from the heartache that has me walking before the sun rises.

I raised my hands up to the darkness, singing loud to music only I heard... my dog scampering in the darkness,

and sang my heart to my Lord:

Woah, dear saviour,
gonna take my cares away.
Woah, dear saviour,
gonna take my cares away.
Gonna take my cares,
gonna carry my cares,
gonna take my care away.
Gonna take my cares,
gonna carry my cares,
gonna take my care away.

...and though I felt Him within my aching heart, I heard no reassuring voice, no mighty divine words ringing through my wringing heart...

The song moved on... a musical groaning about loss and heartache and the oblivion men sometimes find in a bottle:

I had tried that a week ago, drinking a half bottle of Merlot... but I'm not the drinking type and as soon as I felt a little tipsy I had set that bottle down and let my aching heart set the tempo for my ragged breaths.

Woah, sweet whiskey boy,
gonna take my cares away.
Woah, sweet whiskey boy,
you're gon,
you're gonna take my cares away.
Gonna take my cares,
gonna carry my cares,
gonna take my care away.
Gonna take my cares,
gonna carry my cares,
gonna take my care away.

Amos Lee's song swept up to that fevered pitched of soulful sadness and I sang loud in the empty acres the verse of pleading and prayer:

You're gonna take my bottle, my Bible, my mess.
You're gonna take all of my empty and my loneliness.
Gonna take all of the sadness inside of me,
gonna take it all and set me free.

And I went back home... two hours of walking and praying without a satisfying resolution...

When I arrived home I found that the local gang had tagged our fence, the second time in two weeks.

There was a police officer there, talking to my wife, and writing up the incident. Several cars had also been graffitied.

So I had my chores laid out for me again... a trip to Rodda Paint in Oregon City (they gave me one can free and wholesale price for the second gallon!).

But before I could start our dog had run off and we spent over two hours hunting him down. (He was sorry.)

Soon the task was done, while neighbors dropped by, commiserating and congratulating me on tackling it so quickly (the local paper even came by to get a photo of us covering the blemish left by the foolish young men).

These little irritants, tagged fence, an ear infection, a missing dog, seem a staccato beat to the rhythm of the troubles facing my home on a larger scale.

Yesterday a friend from church emailed me that there are rumors circulating about my wife and our marriage. I feared that it was because of my careless posts on my other blog, Job's Tale, but it turns out the source was simply speculation over her plastic smile on Sunday mornings and her obvious discomfort over the continual reminders of the fire which destroyed our church, the flames sparked by my son.

I am more than a little irritated at these gossips. I am praying to my Lord, going to a counselor, seeking advice and tearing at my own identity to reveal the flaws which have let my wife down, and these women, in the name of being concerned, threaten to discover, have actually imagined correctly, the troubles which plague my home!

The visit to the marriage counselor yesterday went as well as could be expected. On a scale of 1 to 10 she feels only a 4 or 5 to committing to repairing our broken relationship. She wants to go to the person she feels makes her happy, and he isn't me.

The psychologist told her that she would have to choose between him or me, that one can't have two relationships. She is holding this other man in reserve, asking him to wait six months while we sort things out...


That hurts so much...

I can see that she is thinking it over, I think she may choose me...

But I represent responsibility and work and failures and guilt and shame...

So I'm thinking about me... for I cannot change her, and wonder what it is I can do to make certain that I see her for who she is... to be the sort of man, the sort of husband, I am supposed to be, even if those changes are not in time for her.

I am the sort of guy who is always holding conflicting, sometimes opposing, ideas in my head, seeking to find solutions where many simply grasp a single paradigm... faith and science, art and engineering, what I think I am and who I might truly be.

And so I am spending a great deal of effort in examining my assumptions, the beliefs I have about the sort of man I am, seeking the honest truth.

And that honesty often hurts.

And so I listen to music that fits my mood, fits my circumstances, moving from classical to jazz, country to blues.

And I see that black river... the one running through my life... and I wish I could float away on its deceptively smooth waters.


curious servant said...

Hello my friends.

If you are here, it is because you have been invited. It is because you have told me you care for me, that you love me, that you want to pray with me.

Though I look a lot like my father, a tough man with a tough heart, I know I am a person who sometimes needs a little help from my friends.

So, welcome to this blog.

A couple of rules:

First, please do not mention this blog in any comments you may leave over at Job's Tale.

Secondly, know that while this is a place where I share, and even sometimes directly address you, my reader, it is primarily a place for me to use my creative writing skills to work through my own thoughts. I need a little leeway.

Lastly, know that while I am grateful for your advice, comments, enouragement, and love, the real reason I have invited you to this place is because I believe in the power of prayer, and I beg you to help me, help us, in that way.

Thank you for your visit.

I love you.

wilsonian said...

" be the sort of man, the sort of husband, I am supposed to be, even if those changes are not in time for her."

This is the kind of obedience our Lord loves.
Continuing to pray...
with love in Christ-

connie said...

Thank you for sharing from the deepest part of your heart and soul.
i know nothing to say but I can pray.

Paula said...

Thank you brother for the invitation. I believe this journey you're on is going to teach you how valuable you are in Christ's eyes, that you don't need anyone but God to be truly happy. Even in the midst of a wonderful marriage, I'm learning to let go and let God. I've tried to control and found my happiness in my Husband, but no more. I am learning to be happy just being me and have tightened my reign over my Husband. Not sure if this ramble make sense, but count on this one thing from me, prayer.

bjk said...

I too will be committed to praying for you,for Brenda and your boys....leaning into Romans 8:26. Thanks for allowing us the privilege.

ame said...

Your words are lyrical. I understand the praying and praying and coming away with seemingly nothing. I remember once Dr. Dobson talking about when God is silent ... and it comforted me to know others experience it, too. It was oft during these times that I would walk around thru my days speaking to God, "I trust You, I trust You, I trust You ... I don't understand ... I don't know anything ... I don't get it ... but I trust You, I trust You."

You are doing the same.

I am praying for you.

curious servant said...

Thank you, all of you, who are joining me in praying for wisdom, peace for Brenda and I, and a renewed marraige.

The song I quoted here is performed on You Tube and you can watch it by clicking the link where I first mentioned Amos Lee. It will give you an idea of the feel for the song (though the one I listed to is a slightly different version).

May God bless every one of you.

paul said...

I hear you. I am here praying for you. Thank you for inviting into the silence.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the invitation. it is my prayer that your marriage will be restored. we know that we can't change other people but God can so it is also my prayer that in spite of all our imperfections in life that God will change you and brenda to be a husband and wife after His own heart. CS, don't give up. God can turn things around for you. just BELIEVE.

Terry said...

Thank you for inviting me to you blog Curious Servant..I am a little tired now but I will be coming back tomorrow.
I am not too tired to pray for you though...Love Terry

PS..Your rules are not extreme and they will be easy to obey..

Amrita said...

Thank you for inviting me to view your new blog. i will respect your requests and pray foryou.

Praying for healing and restoration

~m2~ said...

Hello, dear one...I am here, praying, crying with you, feeling for you, empathizing, reading. I thank you for trusting me with the invitation and promise I will journey along with you because I am your friend.

Peace, blessings.

onionboy said...

O | |

Anonymous said...

I'm praying with tears for you and your family. Love must be tough on your part also. Boundaries with love. You are the most respected man of God I know.