I want to share part of a prayer from November 29, 2014 (Month 9 Day 6). I began: Father, help me, I haven’t had the best few days. The Divine responded:
No you haven’t, but they’ll get better.
That’s it. That’s all. Those few words.
Sometimes when you’re down and out you just want someone to pour out. Maybe you don’t know what it is that you need, but you need something. Something bigger, usually.
But all I received was that small amount. Up front, the recognition that things weren’t good, closed with an affirmation of better days ahead.
I suppose, at the end, isn’t that really all we need – validation that things aren’t so good, but a hope that they will get better.
With that in mind, it is interesting that the Divine continued:
Now listen to this, you my son, listen, simply listen…
Yep. Yeah. By now I know the drill: l-i-s-t-e-n.
Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:
You make decisions that hurt you, yourself, but you do so because you can’t see the larger picture and you never will.
From my critics, their immediate response includes the decision of where I am going in my life. From me to them there is no retort that satisfies them.
For me, personally, back then I listened to their voices of criticism. I took their “opinions” of: God would never lead like that, or their opinions about what the Bible said about marriage, or their opinions of however else they could not find a multiple-wife marriage acceptable.
Their voices were important to me. They were people who had been an important part of my life. Some of those voices taught me from my youth. Some of those voices had been involved in my life for years.
I aimed for an honest, objective, unbiased discussion of the Biblical text. Time, and again, all that was proven is that they could not, in some cases would not, change from their personal perspective. That might have been social, it might have been their own, it might have been religious.
The more that I gave them my ear, the more I listened. The more I studied. The more I researched the Biblical narrative. The more I prayed.
The more I did that, the more I conjured possibilities and scenarios, providing me no benefit. I was feeling boxed in, unappreciated, unheard, tormented.
Through those years, I had to learn three things.
One. To actually trust the Divine, which I am still working on.
Two. That I truly cannot see the larger picture of life, there simply are too many details, too much of a human factor, and I’m learning that the assumptions that were instilled in me have proven to be ineffective at navigating the course of life because they do not draw proper conclusions.
Three. I had to learn that the voices that criticized me were doing the very thing they accused me of – they accused me of picking and choosing what I wanted for my life, while they themselves were practicing that very thing and then judging or condemning those around them who chose differently than themselves.
But, I valued their input, because I value(d) them. The hardest thing to learn, no, to accept, was that I valued them more than they valued me.
For me, that realization was slow.
But when that realization finally dawned on me, I found that I was permitted to accept the fact that I was not going to live up to their expectations, and that I had no need to meet their expectations.
It was then, and really only then, that I accepted myself because as sure as it rains, they weren’t, and in some cases aren’t, going to accept me. Tough when one wants to be accepted.
But hey, I learned that I was accepted by them only when I met their terms and conditions. That is because a sizeable number of them cannot and will not accept me for who I am.
Ugly truth, but that is part of the larger picture. So I had to learn to accept myself, and learn that the most important persons on this planet accept me, that being my wife Mary, and my wife-to-be, Rachel, and since Mary accepts me, then I have lots to live for.
But, the larger picture beyond that is something I want to see, you know seeing the forest and the trees. But, you want to know something, I can’t. You can’t. Nobody can.
We know, barely, our own participation in the larger ecosystem of this existence. How on earth is it possible for anyone to truly see the larger picture? I can’t. I never will. So it is important that the Divine continued:
That is not a fault of yours, but as human, the larger picture is unknown, even though you play and participate in your role.
Well, at least, I am fulfilling my role.
But I find it important that thought reminds me of this from the Apostle Paul, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
As a human, that is simply my situation, my plight.
That is why, as I have experienced more of life, moving forward into my existence on this terrestrial plane, I am learning that trust in the Divine is more important than understanding the ins-and-outs of physical existence, because knowledge of the larger picture is NOT possible.
The larger picture.
So allow me to share a later part of my prayer from that same date. The Divine conveyed:
Now, I want to tell you good news about your wives, yes wives.
There it is – part of the larger picture. My life, at some point, will be just that.
Do I care? Certainly.
Do I want that life? Absolutely.
Will my wives be happy? Quite frankly, their happiness and mine, on this plane of existence as humans, is all that matters.
For my critical reader who thinks that I am shunning or closing the door to all things godly, it makes me wonder if you have been paying any attention during the telling of “My Story”. Because if there is ONE thing that I have established, it is that my life is centered on the Divine, and so shall my life be when I have two wives.
But back to the issue at hand, the larger picture, there is good news in that larger picture. But first, the Divine continued:
While they are still preparing, you must, must, accept one thing:
The larger picture – I don’t understand it, so I can’t explain it, but somehow Mary and Rachel, at the time of this prayer, were (possibly still are) preparing for their life with me. What that means, I don’t have a clue.
But that is not the Divine’s point. That information led up to the one thing I must, emphasized, must accept. So what must I accept? The Divine continued:
this will happen.
At this point, my critical reader retorts with something akin to: “Well of course it’s going to happen. You made it happen.” Again, to their criticism, I have no kind words, so I refrain from commentary.
The point is, back in 2014, on the date of this prayer, I did NOT accept that this was going to happen. As I have explain, back then, I was too concerned about pleasing other people, making sure that I was accepted by contorting myself to their parameters.
Through the years, I have given up on being accepted by them. Some won’t accept me, and I am done with torturing myself about it, and pleading and wanting them to accept me.
Ultimately either someone will accept me, or they won’t, and no longer do I feel the need to receive their acceptance in order for me to feel that I am validated, valued, or to confirm the soundness of my spirituality.
So it will happen, I will have two women in my life, more importantly, two women who WANT to be in my life.
But it is the next thing that the Divine conveys that is intriguing. The Divine continued:
You have given your invitation,
In the context of the prayer, the invitation is asking for a woman’s hand in marriage. I asked for Mary’s hand. She accepted. I also asked her to walk with me into this life of two wives. She accepted.
The Divine continued:
and no woman has ever turned you down when you have asked for her hand,
Directly, from face-to-face, I have only asked Mary for her hand in marriage. So in that sense, I have never asked another woman for her hand.
But, indirectly and informally, less personally, I asked for another woman’s hand in marriage. She turned that down.
So, I am not sure what to make of that statement, or how the Divine continued:
I’ve made sure of it.
All I know for certain is that I have experienced the last five or so years, and I am where I am.
Some no longer walk within my sphere of operation. So be it. Others accept me for who I am, where I am, they have their questions, but they accept me anyway.
But, as I look back at my marriage to Mary, without doubt, I can see how the Divine was there from the moments that led up to the late afternoon day of March 9, 1991 that I met Mary.
There were some who didn’t want us to get married. Adamantly so, it was evident to many, but not to me. That was something I learned much later in life.
So yeah, God made sure I married Mary. She is one of the best damned things that has ever happened to me, and I sure as hell won’t let her go.
There is another best damned thing that is going to happen to me, and I sure as hell won’t let her go.
Blessings and Shalom