chance encounters pt. 4 - weekly addition to the ongoing blovella (blog novella) -- If you haven't read the previous editions, please take the time to catch up - this story moves around a bit.
And now the continuation of chance encounters......
Lying to myself had become this customary game that I played; a game that I dabbled in the way a toddler watched cartoons - small frames of make believe that could be viewed over and over and over again. It seemed harmless enough. My way of getting a needed break from reality. All too often, reality came through like surround sound being emitted from a sixty-inch Digital Light Processing monitor with the volume on forty. Animation was better; lighter and more digestible. That’s what I needed right now; a bit less volume and a lot more animation. I hated this feeling of guilt that was upon me. And despite the merlot colored cushioning, the pew I was sitting on was taking a bite out of my buttocks. But it felt a lot better than the spiritual beating I was getting. Church with Sheila was no fun today. Everyone seemed to be into the message except for me. Pastor’s smooth baritone was coming through way too loud and clear.
“Son. Daughter. God sees you. He knows your pain, and he knows your struggles. He knows the state of your relationships, but he’s waiting on you to hand it over to him. He’s waiting on you to get tired of trying to work things out for yourself. The bible says in first Peter that we should cast all our cares on him because he cares for us. So let me ask you a question. When someone is taking care of you do you expect to have to do the work yourself? Of course not. So what God is saying is that we should trade in our ability to solve our problems for his ability.” He pauses. Collects his “wells” and “amens” before continuing. Gathers his handkerchief into his right hand and wipes the spittle from the corners of his mouth. Looks seemingly directly at me, points his finger and says, “You aren’t strong enough to stop sinning on your own.” I did an internal leap back. Looked out of my peripheral to see if anyone else noticed that, especially Sheila. He turns to the left. “That’s why you keep shacking with Johnny.” Then to the right, “That’s why you still chasing Susie.” Then back to the center, “That’s why you still getting high.” He wipes his mouth again, “But if you turn it over to Jesus, he will give you strength. The bible says you can do all things through Christ who strengthen you. Do you believe it?” Yes’s reverberated around the sanctuary, “Do you believe it?” I finally let out a “Yes Lord!” to keep from looking guilty, “then let go of your past and let God do a new work in you.”
So like I was saying, I like to play this game. In the game, this is where I drift away from Technicolor and into the land of Hanna Barbera. The place where I magically sweep everything under the rug. Convince myself that my little bit of dirt doesn’t matter. That he wasn’t really talking to me, because I ain’t even done nothing yet. Still, Kayla is on my mind more than she should be. She’s become my new drug of choice. And if I could light up now, I would.
I want to live right. For real. You believe me don't you? You just don't understand my situation (another lie that came full circle). You see, I only married Sheila cause she got pregnant. Told myself I was in love. Too bad it was just the love of wanting to be a father. I wanted to be a real daddy. Not like these dudes on the street. I was going to be with the mother of my child. Raise my kid in a loving environment. Come home everyday and be a shining example. I needed to prove to myself that I was better than the man who gave birth to me. Problem was...that didn’t translate into love for Sheila. I overlooked the fact that I needed more than an axe to grind to keep me on the right path. But if you lie well enough and long enough you can convince yourself of anything. So, I faced “deep like” and "good sex" at the altar and said I was doing the right thing. Two months later she lost the baby. Five years later here I am trying to live right and be a good Christian Husband to a fruitless woman while playing “I can be friends” with a woman who moves me with just the sound of her voice. Boy! I loved the way she talked. If there was ever a voice meant for impropriety, hers was it.
Pastor was giving an altar call as my my mind crawled out of La La Land, “Is there anybody who needs prayer?” I checked for Sheila, her eyes were glued on Pastor. I wanted to run up there and slide into home and hear the Lord say "SAFE", but I just sat and watched. “God can deliver you from the hand of the enemy,” came Pastor’s voice. I wondered if he was talking to me.