Sunday, March 16, 2014
An Open Letter
It is that place where dreams can still be brushed away. That is where I see them. It has been almost five years. People have come and gone in my life. Last week we buried my wife’s uncle. I did the service and however well you want it to go, it never goes as you pictured it. Frankly, it is the coldest of moments that people ice over with talk, smiles, recollections but one thing is for sure: it is final.
I have not seen them for five years and I gasp for air thinking about what the next five will bring. I am not one that fancies and thinks of the ideal. That first meeting if it ever happens will be very hard; plenty of stilted words and glances not knowing for sure how to proceed. But for that meeting not to take place would be a major injustice and the fait accompli of where we both had been. That is why I hope because I believe when all the fog of war and emotion clears the devastation will be seen in all its ugliness and malice. There are no other words to describe it. It may not be as graphic as some witnessed and so depicted Jonestown but I assure you the devastation from a dysfunctional religious group is just a real and just as haunting. The painful wince and the hollow stare could come from any of the dark corners of hell this world has produced. Somehow we who have experienced such things are drawn to the dark of it and that is chilling to the bone. A friend told me “without the presence of faith, we are toast” – good words. That is what drives me on. What do I seek? The smile I once knew, the laughter in the kitchen, the rumbling of little feet on floorboards, the breath of a small child too close to my face the grandchildren I have never seen. I ask you, is that too much to ask.
You know the tragedy of it after the last determination that I was to be cast out..Yes kids, cast out. There was a long night where I was told to go wrestle like Jacob with God and they would let me know if I could stay in the fold that next morning. That night previously I had literally gotten on my knees and pleaded to stay. That is the truth of it. But what I had done in their eyes was not forgivable. It was the mortal sin. To take initiative regarding my church and my life and to seek to fulfill what I believed at the time was my calling. Was there some of myself in the machinations of it? Oh yes, I must confess that but the real nail in my coffin was I had sought to think for myself – the one thing you are never supposed to do. Later I found out from sources, they wanted to take the building my congregation had built and either installed one of their sons or liquidate the building. Their excuse was ‘there was no one to send’.
I was called a liar to my congregation by an in-law…which was a real stretch given the deception they were walking in at that time to rip away everything in my life. What was that lie? Frankly, I mis-quoted the day I had filed the 501c(3)…in the haze of that attack I couldn’t focus enough to remember and blurted out a favorable date. That was my lie. Oh my, seems ridiculous to me now. That was my level of discredit, not fiduciary irresponsibility, not moral failure, not preaching Satanism. I was accused because I mis-quoted a date.
So kids, at least know my side of it. I know that it is my side but the point being –consciously and with all degree of pre-meditation make your decision to stay your course. Stop listening to the babbling of background voices that would throw you under the bus and most likely will at some point – I speak from experience.
I did what I thought to be right and if that is a fault, then condemn your own self as well. I certainly don’t but don’t be duped by those that do not matter either. You have shut the door on us, called the police on us and no telling what you have said to others about us…we have never done any of those things.
We will love you and will continue to love you. We take the blame (or credit) for your lives so you are scott free and can live like you are permitted to live. Just remember, there will be a meeting. There will be a reckoning before the throne of God. Bring whoever you want to that meeting… trundle up your suits. I will bring the truth.