Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lost Serenity

Tuesday, before dawn I was walking and praying in the cemetary. The solitude and serenity steadied my heart. At one end of the cemetary is a grove of old douglas firs.

“Whooooo! Who whoooo whoo whoo oooooooooo?”

I hadn’t heard the owl there before. I paused beside the trees, waiting to hear him call again.


The trees loomed dark in the fog. I could not see him; I’m sure he could see me just fine.

He remaiined silent, waiting for me to move on.

Halfway around the cemetary I heard him start up again.

It is important for me to get away like that, to walk, to think, to pray.

I’ve been doing a lot of praying lately.

I think I may be forced to make a choice I do not wish to make. I may have to divorce.

The owl felt a little like my Heavenly Father. I know he was there, above me in the darkness. Though I waited to hear his voice, he was silent for the time being.

I went to the cemetary again this morning.

The solitude and serenity were gone.

Across the street a large development is under way, a new industrial complex. Generators were grunting loudly as they powered large lights scattered all over the site. A string of concrete trucks were roaring in and out, dumping their loads before crews of shouting men.

The owl was not in the grove of trees.

Such construction isn’t unfamiliar to me. I grew up working with my dad with heavy equipment. He bought a track loader when I was in middle school. It was good timing for him.

At the time Orange County, California was mainly rural. Bean fields, orange groves, avacados... The towns were separated from each other with large farms divided in neat huge squares laid out on the flood plain of the Santa Ana river.

Pushing over trees and houses for developments his company grew with the area. Medium sized towns became cities which pressed through the farms and bumped up to each other. Today cities there are divided by large boulevards, not by colored patches of groves and fields. Small towns and communities generally faded away under the pressure of neighboring incorporated cities. The towns of Olive, the communities of Red Hill and Sleepy Hollow have disappeared.

I fled the growth of the megopolis when I was a teen. I hitch hiked all over the west. I hiked through Yosemite and the Pacific Crest Trail. I discovered Oregon and found a place where it isn’t hard to find rural spaces.

I resent the growth of my current home town. I resent the noise of heavy equipment which disturbs my prayers and suggests to the owl that he move elsewhere.

I need the strength and serenity my prayers give me. Especially now.

Brenda thinks God cruel. Or nonexistent.

She resent going to church.

Last Sunday, the sermon was on how God Answers prayers. Just into the second worship song, she slipped me a note:

I understand, though don't share, her feelings. We were unable to have children. The first child we adopted died. The second two are disabled. She feels God is capricious, or worse.

Today I we are going to the counselor. I will ask if she has continued to have contact with that other man. If she cannot find a way to work with me on rebuilding this marriage, I will have to seek legal advice.

What a mess.

I pray the Lord gives me wisdom and strength.

I pray that he answers me out of the darkness.

Half way around the cemetary this morning, as far from the connstruction as was possible, there were three old douglas firs standing sentry. As I approached them I heard the owl. He had moved a little ways off, just to a point where the intrusion of the noise from men and machines wasn’t so bad.

Lord, I am drawing away, as best I can, from the noise in my life.

Please answer me, tell me what to do.


Post Counseling Update: It was rough. And it was mostly my fault. I walked in with suspicions and jealousy. I asked her if she has had contact with the other man, and she said she hasn't. It had the ring of truth to it.

The counselor pointed out that the agreement we had was not that she would work on the marriage. It was that she would go to counseling, hold open the possibility that we can work it out, and that she would not have contact with the other man. She has kept to that bargain.

I had interpreted things differently. My fault.

At one point, once again, we agreed to a divorce. That has been shelved, again.

She pointed out that I can be manipulative in the way I argue my points, pushing emotional buttons. I pointed out certain flaws in her as well. But those flaws are not the point. I need to be careful in how I interpret things, that I be honest not only with her , but with myself. That is where I frequently fail. I reinterpret events in my mind and spin them towards the outcomes I wish them to be. I need to be a realist.

I tend to be an optimist and see things in a better light than they are.

I apologized for my actions of yesterday, going to her work to see if I could catch her with the other man. It was wrong. I need to trust until it is proven otherwise.

This whole mess is one of the most difficult things I have gone through. Going through. I need to trust that God is in control. That He loves her more than I do. That I need to continue to be patient and loving.

Hard work.

Thank you, all of you, for your payers.

I am grateful.




Jada's Gigi said...

"Lord, my brother, Will"

ame said...

I am sorry ...

You are welcome ...

Continuing to pray ...

Knowing the "hard" ...

Amrita said...

Dear Will,
Holding you and Brenda before God 's throne as you walk this lonesome valley.

You are really brave to take a walk in the cemetary while its still dark.

My sleepy town has also become a concrete jungle and i don 't like it.We are keeping our campus fresh and green, a haven for plants and animals.

ame said...

It's in the waiting that life is so hard, so fragile, yet where solid foundation is laid. We have this need to *know* that burns deep within us, and it's as though God wants us to take that captive for Him ... and to wait.

I've been pondering the end of II Chronicles 32 lately ... "It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David. He succeeded in everything he undertook. 31 But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart."

Hezekiah loved God and honored Him all the days of his life, and God blessed him abundantly. II Kings 20 has the rest of the story where Hezekiah became ill, Isaiah told him he was going to die. Hezekiah pleaded with God to live, and God granted him more years to his life.

Some men came to see this miracle, and King Hezekiah showed them all around his stuff and took credit for it. Because of his pride, he dishonored God in the last days of his life despite all that God had done for him. "...God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart."

I wonder if that's some of what God does in these places of waiting ... if He's testing us to know everything that is in our hearts.

May we be found as He desires us to be.

curious servant said...


Those pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them. The one of the cemetary is interesting enlarged.

It was a rough night last night.

Well, another day...

bjk said...

prayers....simply prayers

wilsonian said...

++standing and praying++

~m2~ said...

i think the fact she still attends services with you is rather miraculous. i think it is time to honor the miraculous and move seats.

same God, same worship, different perspective. it's giving her the space she really seems to need and if she is still willing to go with you, i think that speaks volumes in the realm of *hope*.

praying. in the gap, hands to heaven, praying.

Smitty said...

Know that I am praying for you. One step at a time..sometime all we can do is take one moment at a time.

Judas Hate said...

I'm sorry for my absence.

I've been overwhelmingly busy of late. Not much of an excuse.

I think of and pray for you daily though.

I know my being there to walk in the dark silently by your side would not fix a thing, but I wish I were. I am in a sense.

Just know you need never hesitate to use my e-mail or phone number if you want.

Look at the moon and know that I am gazing upon it with you, my dear friend.

Love and prayers travel the 3,000 miles between us in a heartbeat.


bjk said...

praying for Brenda.....just feel really compelled to pray for Brenda......and you.

Amrita said...

Dear Will thinking of you as its Wed 's counselling session. may the Holy Spirit give you wisdom and words. Praying that the Lord may bring Brenda to her knees before the cross.

ukok said...

Haven't read anything from you for a while, please let us know you're 'okay'...or as 'okay' as anyone can be when they are experiencing what you are right now.