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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Story of a Son


He was frozen again. Staring blankly, but in his mind he saw vivid images what had happened. Not just one thing though. What had happened over and again, time after time through his life. Every time it happened it was unexpected, and every time was just as unpredictable as the last. A desire to escape the torment was strong within him, but the timing was not right…

Son used to think that he was not good. He thought he was the reason his father yelled at him. He tried his best not to hate his father, because he was taught “Honor thy father.” Sometimes he tried to show honor, and sometimes he didn’t. Either way the abuse was the same. Abuse, but he didn’t know it. Sometimes those at the center of the pain are unable to see it for what it really is. Abuse.
Son tried so hard to be good. He hated himself though. Not only could he never seem to live up to his father’s expectations, but he had another father. “Father God” they called him, and He had high standards too. Son tried his best to honor both fathers, but in the end the impossibility of this showed itself to him. Earth father told him, “You could do anything you set your mind to.” What’s wrong with that? Nothing, but that’s only what earth father told him when he was trying to sway him to do things according to his own fatherly plan. Son had ideas of his own. Sure they were not likely to amount to much. Just little ideas to do this or that, and no harm in trying them. Nothing to be lost, only to be learned. Those ideas didn’t belong to earth father though, so whenever son would venture to mention them, earth father would recite a list of reasons why son’s plans would never work out. They would never be worthwhile.
Heaven father was much better at avoiding the appearance of cruelty. He would fill son with words of love, and words of guilt. The guilt was hidden though. This father would say things like, “No man is good,” and “All fall short of my glory.” Heaven father also had rules. So many rules, but they weren’t just for son. They were for every man, woman, or child on earth. Those who were willing to follow those rules were bribed with the prospect of heaven, and assured that if they did not exercise their free will to follow those rules they would be sent to a place called Hell for all eternity.
Needless to say, it should come as no surprise that son hated himself. Why not though? He couldn’t live up to any of his father's expectations no matter how hard he tried. If he made an animal out of clay earth father would say, “That’s really good, but you need to sign and date it for it to be worth anything,” and “You need to make lots of those so I can sell them.” That almost sounds good. However, when son would say “I’d like to sell some of these,” earth father would discourage him and say, “You would have to make so many of those before you could even pay for the space to sell them out of, let alone factor in the value of the time spent trying to market them.” Of course this was a realistic thing to say, but was it not a horrible thing to do to a child? Twisting him one way, and then back the other.
Earth father was confusing, but Heaven father was just plain impossible to please. He would demand all sorts of physical and mental praises unto himself for being such a wonderful creator, but then he would instill guilt in his creation (son) for being imperfect. As of his early days, son was too naive to understand how wrong it is to create something imperfect and then blame that creation for its own imperfections. So, he simply tried his best to love heaven father, and to make him happy.
I said he was frozen didn’t I? Yes, he was frozen and deep in though. Only just yesterday it was his Birthday. Friends from near and far had sent him well wishes, and he had been feeling good. No, I shant say anymore about that… It’s still too painful to tell in this way… That is, the pain his earth father inflicted that day just like so many other days before.
One day, son grew up. Well, he set out to do so at least. After speaking with a military recruiter at his high school he decided to enlist after graduation. No, it was not really what he wanted to do. In fact he had been very against the idea only months before, but now the idea had become appealing. What a perfect way to get away from the confusing earth father who could never be pleased. Earth father was against this of course, and he refused to give his blessing. Son didn’t care. He went away to become a man. To learn who he really was.
The military was not easy for son. Basic training seemed to be the worst time of his life. What’s with all the yelling? He thought he was getting away from that. At least this time it wasn’t earth father yelling for whatever reason he decided to be angry in that moment. At least son knew that this time there was a real reason to justify the cruel treatment. They needed to toughen him up. It didn’t really work though. He just went through training crying to himself when he had the time to do so. He found comfort in Heaven father though. He kept reminding himself that Heaven father was blessed no matter what he was going through in life.
Soon enough that horrible training was over and son was off to other things. Still in the military, but the better parts of it. For a while he was unhappy, but then one day a friend invited him to start attending Bible study. “No,” said son, “I don’t have time.” After a few weeks though son felt guilty for not taking more time to devote to heavenly father. Heavenly father deserved to have that time from him, so he resolved to attend Bible study. It turned out to be the best decision he ever made.
Fast forward. Son is in love now. In love, with a beautiful man. One could hardly ask for a better partner in life for son than him. That’s all I’ll speak of that for now though.
I said that the Bible study was a great decision didn’t I? Yes, that Bible study rocked son’s world! It left him traumatized, scared, liberated, and free. What a wonderfully horrid way to feel. The exact Bible verse, and its precise wording are of no matter now, but the moment he heard them something pierced into his soul. All the things son had ever done to try to be good, to be perfect, they were for nothing. It all amounted to nothing. It was after that, that son, for the first time in his entire life began to love himself.
Son realized that his prior efforts to deny his very being in order that he may imitate the perfect image of what heaven father wanted him to be were futile efforts. He stopped apologizing to heaven father day in and day out. Apologizing for his imperfections. Apologizing for his sensual thoughts that were not for women. Apologizing for not being perfect. The very principals he had founded his life on (self denial at the core) were broken, and having known nothing else in his life he was traumatized. The trauma was due to the speed with which this shift in perspective occurred. The veil was ripped open and for once he could see clearly and he was unprepared. Scared? Yes, that to, for he no longer knew what to expect from life and death. He no longer knew what he believed. Liberated! No more to hate himself. No more to pray that heaven father would release him from his earth body. Free… Yes, free to love himself. Free to BE himself. Free to love.

4 comments:

  1. This makes me love you even more. You are a very, very good writer...

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  2. Johann, I just found your blog. I want to read more of this story when you feel moved to write it. Please keep me posted. Love, Shelly

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  3. I'm very curious about the verse. You may have told me but I've forgotten. It feels relevant from where I'm standing right now.

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    1. I have tried to find the verse, but I can't remember it well enough to be sure. It was one of those things where the words just jumped out at me in that moment.

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