Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Core Issue (5)

"Longmont Daily Times Call
Thursday, August 29, 2002  Page: 1-A

LONGMONT - The pastor of a Longmont church resigned Tuesday amid
allegations of sexual misconduct said to have occurred more than a year ago."


"WHAT???" I said to my mother as she called to tell me the news.
"Yes, the pastor of the church we went to in Colorado has resigned because he was accused of sexually abusing young boys."
"I cant believe this. that's horrible!" I said in disbelief.
"He didn't even have the courage to resign in person. Someone else read his resignation letter on Sunday." my mother said almost in tears.

As I hung up the phone that day back in 2002, I began to think about all the people hurt by this man and his selfish acts. The split after the founder of the church died was hard enough. And I worried if the church could survive this. I felt betrayed by the actions of a man I once respected, admired and looked up to as a religious leader in my community. I then began to ponder on my own struggles and I began to question, 

"Could that have happened to me?"
"Sure would explain some things."
"No, that didn't happen to me, I would remember."

I didn't think too much about the scandal happening in my home town. Until I began to seek counseling on how to break free from my addiction and addictive cycles a few years later.

My counselor looked at me thoughtfully and asked, "Have you been abused as a child?"
"No. I had a good childhood." was my simple reply
"Hmph, sure would explain some things," he said.

Once again I put that statement out of my mind and I didn't think about it until . . .

Back in the garage, I had read the bible almost everyday since May and my mistress was becoming more and more jealous of the time I was spending away from her. "Jesus, I'm not demonstrating what you have taught me this summer," I said as I closed my bible one last time before I gave up on religion all together. "I am incapable of love, I show only hate, I'm about to lose the one good thing you have ever given me, my wife. There has got to be something wrong, something wrong with me. Perhaps YOU made me broken and I deserve nothing but loneliness. This is too hard. I want to give up."

In a flash of inspiration "Core Issue."

"God, what is my Core Issue?" I verbally asked the stale air in the garage where I sat and read all summer long.

"Are you sure you want to know?" the air asked back. Strangely the air asking me a question did little to surprise or improve my depressed mood.

"Yes, God, because I am broken and I cannot fix this on my own."

The next day, my wife comes home from work early, she is crying. She tells me she has just been laid off from her job. It was time for me to get out of self-pity and go to work or we were going to loose our home. I immediately began updating my resume and calling temp agencies. Thankfully, Adecco was the first to call back with a job as a material coordinator at a factory near the airport. I started a few weeks later.

I enjoyed my work; it was a good distraction from the stress at home and the elusive core issue that was causing me to be so hateful and self-destructive. Eventually my coworkers left me alone at my machine and I was able to put headphones in and tune out my world and my troubles by listening to some of my favorite music.

The first Sunday in October as we were getting the children ready to go to church, I began to think about my last prayer to God, "I am broken and I cannot fix this on my own," then, "Are you sure you want to know?" played over and over in my head. 

"Are you sure you want to know?"
"Are you sure you want to know?"
"Are you sure you want to know?"

I checked the kids into Sunday school, "Are you sure you want to know?"
The songs began to play as the service started and everyone found their seat, "I am broken and I cannot fix this on my own."
Then as my friend and pastor got up to teach his lesson, one last time I heard a voice, "Are you sure you want to know?"
I sighed, looked up at the ceiling, "Yes Lord." (how bad could it be right?)

There have been many times I have regretted that final answer. I wished that I had never known the sick depravity perpetrated upon me by someone that was virtually a member of my family. Someone I had known almost all of my life.

"Yes Lord." I repeated a second time.

It started slowly almost unaware, growing stronger and more noticeable by the moment. An uncomfortable feeling, then a sticky, sweaty, wrong feeling. It was becoming harder and harder to stay seated and quietly listen to the message. Enclosed tight spaces.....smothered, I felt like screaming, "I can't breathe!".... Projected erotic vibrations coming at me...... OUT OF CONTROL!!! I am a limp piece of meat, I can't breathe, I can't scream, I can't move. I'm frozen in my chair, I'm trapped between space and time, stuck in two nightmares. One real; one imagined. I want to run out of the church building, run until I can't run anymore. Run! until I see Mexico on the horizon.

I'm frozen in my chair...


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