Sunday, July 21, 2013
Forsaken by God: Musings about Prayer & Loneliness
Its an even odder experience to have your fiancee leave for a two week trip to Minnesota. By nature, I'm not a big planner and was left to do a few wedding necessities. Getting a truck for transportation, calling friends and family to confirm invites and all that. I've made some serious headway in my life, actually planning out school loan payments and even training my body to wake up at ungodly hours for work.
Trust me, I'm getting to the loneliness bit.
It was odd getting home from work and not having anyone to talk to. For the first hour, it was like a car wreck victim stumbling around, trying to figure out where things went wrong.
The second part feels significantly different. Now that you've begun to realize that you were in a wreck, now you just wait for the ambulance or the cops to show up. And you realize that you are alone and there isn't any helping coming.
That's what it felt like for the first few hours. I don't have many friends in my neck of the woods, so I pretty much secluded myself in my room and researched and wrote. Knocked out a feature, an outline for another feature and even a twelve page research paper on Paul. Just for kicks.
So I did what all dude's do when they are lonely. I sat down and thought about things, over a glass of water, sitting by the fan, imagining not being alone. I'm not a big prayer person, not because I don't believe in it, but because it is difficult for me to imagine anything good coming from silence. I know many people who say that God talks to them on a daily basis. This week, I longed to be one of those people.
So I prayed in my loneliness, asking just to not be lonely.
Nothing really happened. This didn't surprise me. I don't expect God to jump over everything else in the world to satisfy my own needs. I've always believed that if something doesn't happen, then it doesn't happen. No need to get angry about such things.
But the relational aspect of marriage began to induce some interesting thoughts. Like when I finally told Allison about what I was going through, and what it made me reconsider. I don't remember much from my childhood, but I do remember being lonely. In counseling with Pastor Ruth, I said that one aspect of getting married was so that I wouldn't be lonely, but I remembered it vividly that it wasn't just for me.
When you love someone, it is very easy to be lonely when they are gone. When I talked about it with Allison, she confirmed that she too felt the same way, though not to the same extent. Loneliness was countered by empathy. In some ways, I wonder what this has to do with theodicy and I cannot do my thoughts justice here except to say that in my limited perspective, I wondered what transpired two thousand years ago on that fateful afternoon.
Maybe what we were treated to was a glimpse into divine suffering, something we have experienced ourselves. Who knows.
As you can see, my thoughts tend to linger. Putting everything down on paper is like trying to fit a waterfall into a glass of water.
But, suffice to say, she is coming back this week, and we're resuming our life. Its been a blessing to simply sit and think and talk. I miss doing this. Thanks for reading.