One Good Man –
My wife was asked on Monday and Tuesday if she had been abused. It’s startling but understandable. She had oral surgery last week and they had to remove part of her jaw bone to get the job done. They used a tool to keep her mouth open as wide as possible and the result was a large bruise on the left side that stretches from her bottom lip to below her chin. It looks as someone punched her in the face. Her father was the first who asked, more than once I might add, to make sure she wasn’t being hurt by me or anyone. The next several times were by the nurses and doctors when she had another small procedure done on Tuesday. They asked her if she was being abused, felt safe. Beth and I were talking about this when she came home yesterday evening. She said; “People asked about me being abused by my husband.” I told her I was thankful and wanted her to feel safe. I think a good man and a father wants to know (for sure!) that his daughter is not being harmed. Beth’s dad is both and I wouldn’t expect anything less. A good doctor, nursing staff, will do the same.
I’m still haunted by the Supreme Court hearings that concluded last week. Testimonies were given, victimization claimed, both parties using a woman as a political prop. It broke my heart and made me angry. I kept waiting for one good man, from either side, to step up. Then the President went to a rally and insulted, demeaned, and accused the woman who testified at the hearings of being a; “hoax.” Then men stood up…and cheered.
Why is being a good man, which is the only way to be a good husband, father, and friend, in such small demand these days?
Surfing or Drowning –
I just finished reading an article from seven years ago today about a father and son who were killed by a drunk driver. The mom shared it on social media and the heartache is still present and the wound raw. I can’t imagine the pain. I knew the father a little. He was in our church’s youth group. He was a few years older than me but always seemed cool. He was an athlete. He ran, biked, swam, and surfed. The morning dad and son were killed they were training for a triathlon. The father was named after his father and the son carried on the tradition. He was the III.
How do you have hope in the midst of such loss? How do you not drown in sorrow? How do you not get lost in such darkness? I don’t think there’s an easy answer. Quips and quotes don’t begin to address the brokenness and reveal our lack of intimacy with death. We do everything we can to avoid it. Most of us try to prolong our lives by any means necessary. When death finally does come we are quick to make the arrangements, organize a memorial or funeral service and push past it as fast as possible. But even then, death finds a way to corner us, trap us, confront us. After the hustle and bustle of meals, flowers, sympathy cards, and services we find ourselves alone when death, misery, mourning, comes calling.
Experts tell us that when we are caught in a riptide to not fight the current or it will surely drown its victim. Let it grab you and then slowly, moving parallel to the shore, slip from its grip. I think this is how we deal with the loss of those we love. There’s no escaping and fighting and refusing to acknowledge its power end in certain defeat. To allow it take hold, scare us, shake our faith, sweep our “normal” life away, but not giving up is the key. Slowly our strength returns, we regain our bearings, we slip from its grip, rise above the waters and live.