I want to share part of a prayer from December 22, 2014 (Month 10 Day 1). This prayer was during Havdalah, our time set aside at home. I began my prayer: Blessed…
The Divine conveyed:
Nope. Just listen.
That hadn’t happened in some time. But there it was, the blessing, interrupted. For me, it always surprises me that such happens.
Yet, the Divine continued:
Listen and write.
Again, the concept of listen – listening in order to understand in order to do, yet it was conjoined with the concept of writing.
For me, what is interesting is that I made a note in my prayer that immediately before that statement of “listen and write” I had closed my eyes in order to focus.
So did that mean that I didn’t need to focus, because I was already focused? Or does it mean that I am now “writing” about it? Or does it mean something else entirely? You know, I’m just not sure.
That makes me kind of uncertain as to why I was told to write, yet writing is exactly what I do during my prayer.
But that not knowing doesn’t perplex me, and it is important that the Divine conveyed:
…things are going to be all right,
That is a helpful statement. It is helpful because back then, I wasn’t too sure about the situation. I was not an emotional wreck; that would not be a great description. But I was definitely trying to understand myself, my situation, my life and how all these things would unfold.
Since that prayer, things have progressed forward. Some things have been difficult, some things expected, yet things have been all right.
With the comfort that brings, it is important to see what the Divine conveyed next. The Divine continued:
for you see things are three, as they’re supposed to be.
Three. My reader, especially if they are Christian, might take that and correlate it to the concept that describes the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. But THAT is not the context of the prayer.
This prayer is speaking to me about my life. Ergo, there is only one meaning for three – a marriage of three. It is what is supposed to be and is part of what makes things all right.
As reflection, I get it, I do, I understand why so many from parents to friends are confused and forlorn about the direct my life has taken. For them, the direction I am going is not only unexpected but it is also unwelcomed.
As I am a member of the larger community of family and friends, I have done my best to try and explain. But they almost always interpret me as contriving things.
That, perhaps, is the greatest sadness that I carry. That they would judge me as an engineer of and manufacturer of things they don’t care for or like.
If there was one thing I learned years ago, family does not like anyone to move outside the family parameters, and those parameters are established by family on both sides of the aisle.
I could not have found myself in a greater moment of creating family tension than the direction I am going, going against the desires and dictates of family. In this situation, things are not all right. For this situation, things seem all wrong.
But, as much as they do not like -perhaps that is too soft of a description- as much as they abhor what has developed, my commitment to my wife is unwavering, my commitment to my responsibilities as husband and father are unwavering, and just as unwavering is my commitment to this direction.
As difficult as it is for all involved, I do believe that things will be all right, and family may not readily accept the developments, but I will demonstrate not only what the Scriptures permit, but that it can be a vibrant and healthy marital and family structure.
Returning to the prayer, I find the following things perplexing, and interesting. Later in the prayer, the Divine conveyed:
She, yes yes, is ready, nervous, scared, and a little upset,
In the context of this prayer, “she” cannot be referring to Mary, because Mary already knows what is going on, because she’s been with me the entire time.
Therefore, as far as I can tell, “she” refers to Rachel, and I have no idea how much she knows.
Furthermore, it is a mystery to me as to what it means that she is described as “ready, nervous, scared, and a little upset”.
Yet, the Divine also conveyed:
but ready to find out just what has been going on,
Again, what that means, I don’t really know. As far as I know, after summer of 2014, I have not ever been contacted or had dialogue with any woman regarding marriage. So I am actually quite confounded as to what that means.
Yet, immediately after that the Divine conveyed:
in turmoil she has been, uptight, wound tight, ready to bend,
Again, what that means, I really don’t know.
For me, it is part of my prayer, a part that as far as I know, has not become reality. In light of that, I have no real way of understanding the importance of it.
Yet, immediately after that the Divine conveyed:
but you’re to mend, not pretend
Therefore, it seems, whatever her lot is, I am to help. To what degree? I have no clue. In what manner? I am just as equally curious.
All I can surmise is that I am supposed to be helpful, and in the helpfulness present myself as genuine. All of which becomes important for the things that the Divine immediately added:
Life is precious, life is rare, handle with care, the heart in despair, for ill-repair makes for despair,
Life is precious, without doubt. Physical life is too easily lost.
But emotional life is just as easily snuffed, one ill-spoken word, one misplaced phrase, can bring someone to their knees.
Actually, life is rare. Think about all the people who are conceived but because of one thing or another are never permitted to traverse this landscape. Think about all the people who are born but die young, and so on the thinking can be seen.
It’s not morbid, it’s just examining how rare life is. Oddly, that means that I, here in my early-to-mid-forties, am becoming even the more rare, simply because I am moving forward through time. Sobering, really.
Unfortunately, in my short amount of days, I have met those hearts that are in anguish. They hurt for different reasons.
But as much as lack of food and water create desperate situations, it is the dejection felt within the heart that crushes and demoralizes that is why “ill-repair makes for despair”.
I cannot truly understand the entire process of nurturing the heart, experience and observation have simply revealed to me how accurate the Divine’s conveyance truly is.
The heart that feels crushed cannot endure ill-treatment for that neglect creates even greater despair. That is why the next thought is important, the Divine conveyed:
but delicate care makes for repair, repair you shall, mend you will…
Does that mean I will avoid mistakes? Are you kidding? I’m human. But I can tell my reader that adding to sorrow is NOT my intention.
I also want to share parts of a prayer from December 24 (Month 10 Day 2), and this will close out my thoughts from 2014. I began my prayer: Father, I am here, what will you tell me today, I would like to know? The Divine responded:
Hear my son, hear.
Again, “hear” as opposed to listen. So let’s discuss some of what the Divine wanted me to hear. In part, the Divine conveyed:
Now freedom my son, sets the soul afire, on fire as a bonfire, and ever will remain, a fire burning eternity’s flame.
How is that not the experience of life? Even if a person is not permitted to express their freedom to its fullness, their heart feels and wants freedom.
During the prayer, the Divine goes on to convey concepts that freedom is held dear by all, but yet freedom is also feared.
Interestingly, the Divine conveyed that because people fear what freedom represents, to control that fear, some aim to control freedom.
Importantly, the Divine conveyed that controlling freedom leads to over-management which leads to enslavement, and those who are enslaved cry out for freedom.
Those concepts become tremendously important for later in the prayer when the Divine conveyed:
You must embrace liberty.
The Divine was directing those things directly to me, I get that, but embracing liberty is a difficult thing. Here is the first reason why, the Divine conveyed:
Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Meaning we all want freedom, the liberty to do something, yet judge others when they do something with their freedom.
That is a problem, freedom allows for choice, and choice leads to actions that “offend” others’ sensibilities, which is why the Divine continued:
Liberty permits actions that you would not choose.
And that is the difficulty. Liberty does permit others to make unfavorable choices. But it didn’t end there, the Divine added:
Liberty permits speech that you would condemn.
That, my reader, is the crux of the issue, because people want freedom for themselves, because they believe they will use freedom responsibly, but want to deny freedom to others. Why? Consider how the Divine continued:
Hatred, violence, and all must be permitted,
And that is what people despise. They want to stop hatred. They want to stop violence. Yet, they want to permit freedom. But you see there is a problem, as the Divine conveyed:
for without the freedom to choose destruction, one is enslaved.
That is the dual-edged sword of freedom, with freedom comes the possibility that someone would choose to harm.
Yet people want freedom and freedom from harm, but that is NOT what the Divine conveyed – without the potential to receive harm one is actually enslaved.
Yet, sadly, it seems that few want to grasp that enslavement causes more harm than the potential of harm under freedom.
The awareness that freedom and liberty permits others to make choices that I would not make is one thing.
The awareness that freedom and liberty permits others to say things that I would not say is another thing.
But the awareness that freedom and liberty must permit the possibility of hatred and violence is something that most want to quash. Yet, not even the Divine canceled out the possibility of hatred and violence.
The Divine provided the ultimate freedom. Yet humanity has historically made choices from hatred and acted in violence, yet no stifling of freedom or liberty limits either.
Oddly the reverse curtailing freedom is actually true. It is freedom and liberty that actually curtail hatred and violence. It’s counterintuitive, but it is there.
Thus the Divine closed the prayer conveying:
Be free. Set free. Live free.
Blessings and Shalom