It was early on the morning after my wife left me for another man. The prior evening, I cried myself to sleep, with the pain inside often welling up into uncontrollable sobs and heaves of the heart. Several times during the night I woke up, unable to recall my bearings, until the memories of the last day would rush at me once again, and I would cry myself to sleep once more. I was in a fog on that morning, sipping coffee which threatened to blast back out the way it had come; my stomach was doing turns and overall, my intestines felt as if they were doing back flips.
I sat at my desk in my home office, trying to make sense of the last few days, in which my wife had told me I was not a satisfactory husband, and that she had never really loved me anyway. She had told me she deserved better than me. None of what she told me meshed with my memories of what our marriage had been like, especially the early years; the years she claimed she used me and never loved me. I had been deceived.
It was this deception that began to spark an anger within me which could not be measured. I had never grown so incensed, so enraged against God, as was occurring within me while the morning drew on. Yet for a while, I remained silent on the outside, while my insides were dying. For over an hour, I remained as a statue at that desk, recalling also the events of the prior week.
My home office was small, hot, and quiet, as I considered how for the last nine years, I worked as a project manager for a firm specializing in HVAC construction and design; four of those years in the very home office I was currently sitting in. It had all come to an abrupt end on the past Monday, when my boss had called me to drive an hour and a half for a meeting with him. I thought nothing odd of the meeting; we met regularly on Mondays to discuss strategies and projects. I thought this meeting was going to be another of the same nature. But when I arrived, my boss immediately began to berate me, declaring that I was being fired for attempting a hostile takeover of his company, all the while leaving the door to his office open, ensuring that everyone within the building that day could hear how the best project manager this firm had ever employed was being taken apart by the Owner of the firm.
I don’t recall which was worse; my feelings of embarrassment, or the fact that I was being fired because of a lie. A young man named Mark, whom I had helped recruit, hire, and train, had told a story to my boss. His story included a fable about how I had informed Mark that I was going to start my own firm, and steal several projects and principals right from under my bosses’ nose. It was just the sort of story my boss would believe, because he was admittedly a very paranoid person. And later I would find out that Mark had admitted to a friend of mine that he had indeed made the entire story up in order to gain my position in the firm. I never had a chance to explain that the story was a lie. Before I even opened my mouth to refute the lie, my boss had shouted, “I don’t believe anything you say! Get out!”.
The entire day seemed surrealistic; I couldn’t believe that I, the top project manager, had been fired because someone had lied about me. It didn’t seem real. I couldn’t shake my funk over the entire issue, and drove home wondering where to go from there. Could I fight this? Would there be any kind of a business relationship to return to? Being a Newbie Christian, I tried to pray, but my mind kept interrupting, and there was no peace for me the entire drive home. During the week, I tried to talk to my boss on the phone, but he wouldn’t take my calls.
Three days later, my wife informed me that she was in love with another man, and was leaving me. She said many other things, all of which I wish I could no longer remember.
Prior to that week, I had been a very confident man, even after coming to know Christ. I believed there wasn’t anything that was beyond my abilities. I was arrogant in my beliefs about myself. Yet somehow, I had been able to separate that arrogance from my family, which I loved as best I could. Apparently, that wasn’t nearly good enough. My wife left me for a man who left his wife, and his newborn daughter.
Nothing seemed to compute. How could this man be such a wonderful man, I wondered? How could my wife fall in love with someone who was willing to abandon his newborn daughter for the sake of his pecker? That thought was typical of how my mind was working that morning.
As the rage continued to build within me, I recalled my adult life up until this point. I had been a husband to a beautiful wife, was father to a wonderful daughter, was a success in business, owned a nice house, two nice cars, and had seemingly everything under control.
In the space of one week, all of it was gone. Everything I knew, everything that daily made me “me” had changed, or been taken away. But what angered me most wasn’t because it happened for reasons I didn’t understand, or under very suspicious circumstances. What angered me most was that once I began to know Christ, everything fell apart. I had started becoming a human being. I had stopped being a machine, and started feeling again. Instead of being concerned only about money in business, I had started to be concerned about the people. I had started to learn how to put my wife first. I had started a love affair of fatherhood with my daughter that grows even until today.
What angered me most was that I had thought I was able to control everything, and that my growing love for God, my wife, daughter, and people in general would help guide me the rest of the way. But it all disappeared like a small comet smashing into a mountainside.
I began to talk to God, loudly. I paced around my house, crying, speaking, imploring, begging. All I received in answer was silence, and that silence destroyed what little control I had left. I shouted things at God I am ashamed to repeat. I screamed and raged that he didn’t love me, that everything had been just a big joke, and that this “game” of his was stupid, and furthermore, I no longer wanted any part of it. I cannot recall how many times I told God to “fuck off”, or “go to hell”. I used every word I knew, and uttered every blasphemy known to man; I didn’t care. As far as I was concerned, there was no God, how could there be if the moment I started learning how to be a fellow human being, learning how to feel again, he would allow this catastrophe in my life?
I couldn’t see past this day; I honestly felt as though I was going to end my life.
Still, there was nothing but silence, and I finally entered into the area of rejection in my heart. I screamed even more brashly at God, calling him a liar, and a harlot for allowing my wife to leave me for a corpse of a man. I accused God of harming my little daughter, of not caring what this was going to do to her. My mind was racing, my head was pounding, and my throat was beginning to become raw. I asked God, “What does it matter if I leave you? Who gives a shit? You sure as hell don’t!” I said all of this as I was staring at a cross I had nailed to my wall a few months earlier.
For some reason, that cross made me weep, and as I bent over my kitchen countertop sobbing uncontrollably, rivers of tears streamed down my cheeks and dripped onto the countertop, forming a puddle.
But the tears only lasted a few minutes, and soon my anger reared again. I paced before that cross, again shouting at Him, asking Him “Why?!” I asked Him what I was supposed to do now, and waited in my rage, knowing after a minute that God’s only answer was silence, because in my mind, He didn’t give a crap about me, or anyone else.
This infuriated me even further, and I gathered every remaining breath in my chest, and shouted deafeningly, at God, at the cross, “Why have you abandoned me!?”
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT POSTING