12 October 2009

Precious Few

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
2 Peter 2:19-21

I was out of town all weekend, in San Antonio at a Writer's Guild/ Veterans writing workshop. I went with my dad and husband, we're all vets and all interested in writing. It was a lot more than I anticipated- beautiful hotel, unstructured time, people who enjoy the same craft I do. James was skeptical at first- it was a military thing, after all, but when he saw the hotel he realized that it was not what he thought, and when the writers began introducing themselves at the first workshop (they had done Cosby, Frasier, and Desperate Housewives, and countless movies) he saw what talented writers were there to assist us, he relaxed and got more excited.

It was Saturday night that I noticed the difference- we were at a Mexican restaurant, sharing chips and guacamole and steak fajitas with my dad. James was talking animatedly about the writing exercises he had done that day with his group- he was so animated and calm and energized. I can't think of the last time I heard him talk like that. He wasn't waiting for someone to contradict him; he wasn't antagonistic; he was happy and excited; his face was open and welcoming. Was it being out of his usual context? Was it being around fellow veterans? Was it his contact with 'the great?' They certainly told him he had writing talent, they appreciated his skills and his own story.

I forget sometimes that he has been changed too by our time in the fire. Oh, I know it well enough when I say "Who is this? This is a stranger I sleep beside." but then when Saturday came I saw a glimpse of the man he used to be and I missed him.

When we were coming home on Sunday afternoon, as we neared Austin again, it was practically a visible, tangible change coming over him. He was like an actor getting into a role, putting on a stiff rubber suit that streaked and pulled and didn't want to go on smoothly. I imagine I felt like the loved one of an Alzheimer's patient, one who has enjoyed a few precious moments of clarity and memories only to see them slipping into dementia again.

art by Luke Chueh


Meredith said...

This makes me cry. I have only been married a month shy of 2 years and we are already slipping into being strangers sleeping next to each other, if we even end up in the same bed that particular night. I can't really express our situation, but it all boils down to our selfishness and our lack of closeness to the Lord. I look forward to reading more of your scripture posts and being reminded that the pursuit is Holiness not happiness. I know the only true happiness I can find is in the Lord, but man I get so fooled by the ways of this world in thinking it should be my husbands job...... (more crying)...... What an unfair burden I have put on my husband. IT may seem surface level to be depressing, all this crying, but this is exactly what I needed. I have been so callused to my sins that have been contributing to our unhappy marriage. I praise God for this chance to mourn.

mama4x said...

The world wants you to think your happiness can come from your marriage, from a person, from your job- anything besides Christ. When I realized the burden I had placed on James when I tried to get all my needs met through him, I could see how grasping I had become. Life is so much more certain when our happiness is found in Christ, when it can't be shaken. What a journey you've started!