I want to shake the mothers and fathers of Middle America. Mothers and fathers, when your sons and daughters come to you asking questions about the Lord, abstain from telling them that it is “just a phase.” The Lord is a madman. He appeared, apparently born of a virgin, and claimed to be the son of an unseen supernatural entity. I am a madman, because I believe significant chunks of that story. I capitalize the ‘L’ in Lord, for God’s sake (see?). Your child is inquiring and by shutting down his curiosity you can break the already-fragile spirit. I make no claims towards the authenticity of myth, but I know that Easter Sunday has drilled its way into my bone.
The Associate Dean of Students & Director of Leadership Studies tried giving me relationship advice. “If my wife had done the same thing to me, we would have…we would have serious problems. We would need marriage therapy.” I met him when I was twenty-two-years old. Twenty-two-year olds are traditionally stupid. They are so traditionally stupid that they look at the term “traditionally stupid” and don’t try to rise above it, but dive deeper into regrets and mistakes, knowing they have “traditionally stupid” as a get-out-of-jail-free card. I nodded and said I understood him and I understood myself. I sealed myself in a box and hobbled from corner to corner, dropping to my knees and wishing my life would readjust to its previous setting or I would fully embrace my new one. I am crazy. I am pathetic, and indie dramas are filmed about me and The Onion articles are written about me. My friends can kiss and tell. Hell, they can kiss and keep it secret because the fact that they’re kissing is so obvious they don’t feel the need to repeat it. That is tradition. That is the normal course of things.
I am watching her kiss and watching her cry, and I am living in 2013, and it is no longer 2009. I must be crazy, because this isn’t how the world works. The man who can’t get over his ex is scorned or condescendingly patted on the head and I’ve known that for years and it scared the life out of me. I hate being wrong, but I know that in order to be most right I’ll have to be wrong sometimes. I said I would rather be dead than wrong in this scenario. So here I am, proven right. Am I right? Will I wake up tomorrow and go to my last final of Fall 2012, then head to my parents’ for Christmas? This doesn’t happen to anyone I know. They will fall in love and marry and be happy and I will be happy for them, but maybe theirs will come about in a classic, though none the less special, way.
The blessings in my life could exist to reaffirm me, to assess my desperately-sought correctness in this exact situation, but I am still agnostic when I wake in the morning. I am so bewildered by the life I’ve been given that it seems unreal to me. I am shocked that grass is still beneath my feet. I am amazed that someone would love me, at least to the extent a person can, which is bringing me cookies and talking with me about video games for hours at a time. I don’t want to throw it out; I want to hold it close to my chest. I just cannot believe it. I cannot believe what I have been given.
My inquiring mind wants to poke and prod and to test the validity, but only in hopes of even greater understanding and, more importantly, even greater affections. I no longer doubt the Lord in the teenager-with-newfound-insight sense, but I like broaching the subject with a profound awe.