On May 10, 2015 (Month 2 Day 10), I prayed during Havdalah. I began with a blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who gives purpose to life. The Divine responded:
Yes. But why?
I replied “Because purpose you have given me but I still feel down tonight.” The Divine responded:
Yes. But that is about to change.
From that, it seems that the Divine gives assent to my reply about purpose. But then goes on to declare that my feeling down was going to change, and that provides some encouragement. The Divine later continued:
…tonight things change.
During that prayer, I replied “Abba, please don’t take this wrong, but I feel I have heard this before. Candidly, it feels like a familiar tune.” The Divine responded:
Ahh, to the untrained eye, maybe.
Sounds like encouragement, like the Divine is going to provide sound insight. The Divine continued:
So pay attention.
Sounds familiar, right? The Divine continued:
…tonight things change, contact she will soon make,
From that statement, I was expecting something to happen. I was expecting contact. To this day (the day that I have written this Installment), I still haven’t received contact.
Because it seems that contact was to be, and it seems that contact has not been, I am completely uncertain what to make of this.
Some will point to it and say “Since it did not come to pass, then you are not being led by the Divine.” To that, I retort that the Divine has led me to good fruit, my marriage is better, and so is my faith.
But what is going on? Something that I consider possible is human involvement, meaning that humans can affect whether or not something expressed by the Divine becomes true. The Divine conveyed “contact she will soon make” which means she could have chosen not to make contact, if so then that failure falls on her, not in the Divine’s conveyance.
Furthermore, the Divine said “soon” as I am coming to understand, “soon” to the Divine is NOT “soon” to me or other humans. “Soon” is an amazing word that is open to a wide definition of “soon”. In the scope of eternity, “soon” is not seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months. In the scope of eternity, “soon” can be years, perhaps decades, centuries, millennia.
At this point, I prefer and hope that “soon” indicated/indicates years, and that those years are coming to a close. So I am hoping that “contact she will soon make” becomes reality in the here and now. Otherwise, I am uncertain what to make of the Divine’s conveyance.
However, after conveying that, the Divine continued:
kind you are to be.
Interesting the Divine tells me to be kind. To me, it seems then, that whatever communication transpires from “contact she will soon make” might not be pleasant, and who knows why.
I have met a lot of unpleasant people. I have engaged many unpleasant people. I have responded to unpleasant people. They do not engender a moment of kindness.
Yet there it was. So far though, I don’t think her communication has occurred, so I have not yet been faced with her challenge to me and kindness.
In any event, the Divine continued:
Listen to her words, stirred you will be, upon reading, close the book, meditate, resend then pray. Come to me. Share with Mary, my daughter Esther, but come to me. This is necessary.
Okay. This seems to indicate that something about her contact would (will?) be difficult. Who knows? Since it is possible that she was supposed to have made contact, but she didn’t, then perhaps it’s possible that if she ever does make contact that her contact has changed in tone.
This is the crazy thing about prayers. Sometimes they are so difficult to ascertain. You think one thing, and that thing does not occur.
So what did the prayer mean? Was it vain? Was it foreign? Was it NOT from the Divine? All kinds of questions run through your mind. And depending upon how you choose to answer those questions, you can quite dramatically throw away your faith.
However, as of today, I can see the concepts, grasp the importance of them, and that listening to her, meditation, Mary and continual prayer are to be involved. That just seems to me that it could be a complicated dialogue.
After that, the Divine continued:
So the Divine is transitioning to another idea, and I need to pay attention. The Divine continued:
This is a big deal, but no big deal.
Again with the paradox – it is but it’s not. So I suppose the big deal is a matter of perspective. Back then, I suppose, the deal -whatever that was- would appear larger to me than it was.
As far as I know, the “big deal” has not even occurred. So what does that mean? All I know is that I think I am prepared for the “big deal”.
I look at it like pregnancy and birth, it’s a big deal, there is a lot involved, health of the mother, the child. The pregnancy is challenging for both mother and child. At birth, both mother and children are put under duress. It’s a big deal, but once the child is delivered into the world, no one thinks anymore about the pregnancy and birth. The Divine added:
This bridge must be crossed, and crossed it shall be.
Again, kind of like birth, assuming that the child is carried to term, birth is a process that must be engaged. The manner in which birth is engaged varies from woman to woman, but birth must take place.
Some deliver in an automobile on the way to the physician. Others deliver at home. Others deliver at the hospital. Others deliver in other places. But birth took place.
Whatever this “big deal” is, it is an event that must take place. It didn’t take place back then, I cannot answer as to why, and no one can. But if I am going to trust the Divine, then an event has to take place. So consider that the Divine added:
Blessings set on the other side.
Just like on the other side of the birthing process sets warmth of rejoicing, there are good things that set on the other side of this “big deal”. Yet, the Divine offered this thought:
Mind your manners, mind your toes.
So to maintain the pregnancy and delivery motif, one has to be mindful of what they are doing. A wise person goes into pregnancy having care and concern for both mother and child, just as a wise person goes into delivery having care and concern for both mother and child.
That is minding manners, minding toes, watching what is done, watching where one steps, both with their feet and their entire being, especially if the delivery becomes difficult, only then does sure footedness and attentiveness increase the life expectancy of both mother and child.
I cannot explain why what the Divine conveyed did not come to pass at that time. But, perhaps, it did not come to pass because of me, yeah, me.
“In what way?” my reader might ask. Well, the first thing is that I truly did not accept the situation, which the prayer in the next Installment will help show.
For now though, back then, I was way too concerned about how others viewed me. That was probably my biggest hang up.
I saw a video recently about communal conditioning. This person came into a room that had other people in it. That new person observed the other people stand up then sit down when a bell-type device chimed. Within in about three occurrences that person was conditioned to and engaged in the communal practice.
The device kept being chimed, the people kept standing up and sitting down, but one by one the room emptied until the person who came into the room was the last person in the room. The device chimed, the person stood, continuing the practice of communal conditioning.
A new person entered the room, observed the lone person standing up when the device chimed. Within three or four instances, the new person was standing up with the other person when the device chimed. One by one additional people came into the room. One by one they adapted to communal behavior.
What’s the point?
No one bucked the communal behavior. Each and every person followed the community. No one became independent. Not one person refused to join the behavior.
Some gave some query. Some looked on with wonderment, wondering what was happening. But every single person followed the communal practice, because no one questioned as to whether or not the action was actually needed.
When I arrived in 2014, I had questioned many things about the church and its communal behavior. I was reading the “manual” so to speak, and found the church and its community practicing things developed by the community, whether right or not-so-right.
It bothered me that the community would not question itself and its behavior by examining the “manual”. Eventually, I left the community because of the communal behavior. And I have experienced similar with other communities, each having their own communal practices, some of which are simply done without ever examining the “manual”.
While uncomfortable, I found myself growing comfortable with the reality that there would be moments and instances were church communities were going to practice communal behavior and use communal pressure to get others to join. I grew to accept, and am still growing to accept, that I am one of the few that will not ever join unjustified communal behavior.
In essence, and to use the communal reference, just because a device chimes does NOT mean that one has to stand up, this is because unchecked assumptions make for these types of actions.
Ironically, it is my own religious community that trained me to check assumptions and make sure they are valid. So, I checked the assumptions of my religious community. Some of the devices were unneeded, I tried to explain why standing was not necessary, yet some chose to stand anyway. Later, as I learned that my voice was ignored for the chime of the device, I chose to walk out the door.
Keeping with the motif, technically speaking, standing was NOT required, yet they have the right to stand when the device is chimed. If they choose to stand when the device is chimed, that’s their choice. Uniformed it is, but that is their choice.
So, I walked out. And I have walked out of other church communities that do similar practices. After learning to examine the “manual” I will always examine the manual. Just because I like or appreciate someone’s church community does NOT mean that I will stop examining the “manual”. They are free to do what they do, and I am free to walk out the door.
All of that experience did not prepare me for the communal response to marriage. Maybe it should have, but it didn’t, and I wasn’t prepared.
I had experiences in 2012 and 2013 that I could not and can not and will not deny. But back in 2014 and 2015, I could not bring myself to stand up and walk out of the communal room, a communal room occupied predominantly with family and religious friends, who would stand only for monogamy.
I examined the “manual”. The “manual” does not require anyone to stand only for monogamy, yet that is the communal action. And the community expected me to stand when they stood, I kept talking to them that standing only for monogamy was unnecessary.
In essence, I wanted someone to join me in refusing to stand only for monogamy, especially from parents, I really wanted it. It took me those years to realize that I was not going to get communal approval for not standing only for monogamy.
Instead, I had to accept that the communal response was what it was, the device chimes, people expect others to stand. Then I had to learn that I had to be brave enough to walk out.
Why did the prayer not come to pass? I do wonder if it failed to occur because of my own actions.
God does NOT require only monogamy. It is God’s preference, but preference is NOT dogma. Preference means we have a choice.
So I choose to make my choice. I want two wives. Mary has said yes to me having two wives. I am simply praying that God reveals his Rachel who will say yes and make me the husband of two wives.
Blessings and Shalom