“personality is the characteristic mark of the inner, spiritual man. personality merges, and you only reach your true identity once you are merged with another person. when love or the Spirit of God comes upon a person, he is transformed.” — My Utmost For His Highest
i had lunch today with a 30-year old man — a nephew by affinity, actually. let’s call him joel. joel is married with three young kids.
very likeable and sociable, joel enjoys going out with his single friends a lot. like, two times a week. and he gets so carried away with all the fun, booze, and God knows what that he ends up sleeping at their city apartment with his male friends to recover from the hangover — only to drive home late the following day to a frustrated, hurting, angry wife and worried kids.
obviously, his wife loves him too much. she had made several concessions in the past just to buy peace while joel routinely makes promises (the latest ones last night) to keep his devoted wife assured and hopeful enough to keep on. (i know!!!! it’s so bad, yeah?)
evidently, neither efforts from both spouses ever worked. they deal with the same problem week in and week out. their sad stories have really gotten tiresome.
so today, we were supposed to work out a doable and honest plan that would finally satisfy his and his family’s needs at the same time. (good Lord!) we considered options, including the prospect of even selling the city apartment!
as much as i love him like family, joel is obviously a selfish, egoistic son of a —- (no disrespect meant to my long-time friend) who keeps forgetting that he’s got a wonderful and gem of a wife back home, adorable kids, and yet a marriage intact (albeit fighting for dear life). gosh, he is genuinely better off shackling himself to the legs of their bed.
i couldn’t help saying, “for someone who gets his happiness at the expense of the woman he is supposed to love, cherish, and protect, you are certainly very lucky to have a wife like you do. because if you were my husband, the next time you skipped a night at home, you would find all the door locks changed and all your belongings right across the street at the neighbor’s gate.”
we worked out the most realistic plan we could. but unsure of his commitment, all i kept repeating was, “you really need to pray to God for help…. seriously, since you yourself admit that you cannot help yourself when you’re caught up in all the partying, then you need to pray to God for help, joel. no other way. at this point, it seems only God can help you.
because i can talk to him like a son, i went on, “but of course, if you can’t do that, then it’s also alright. you know, we learn life’s lessons best the hard way. so just keep doing what you’re doing and you wait and see.
believe me, the time will come when you will be so broken, so confused, so alone, so down, so lost, you will have to be found by God Himself and there will be no way for you but up. then You will never, ever go back to Your old self again. so, it all ends well.
God is not in a hurry, so which way do you prefer?”
he quickly asked for the check, buzzed me on the cheek, and lunch was done.
“my Lord, i meant him well but i am no expert so You better help my nephew fast. put Your hand upon him, touch his heart, show Him the path, and give Him the strength to follow it so he becomes the husband and father that his family needs him to be. He is Yours, Lord, so please empower him with Your divine grace to be exactly that. all for your glory and joy, dear God.”