There is much to say about why I am starting this blog. I have a voice, opinions, and stories I need to share. So why not post on some social website where all your friends can see and comment and like and follow? Well, that leaves much to be desired for me. In short I would rather post to random strangers who may never see, never comment, than post to people who may or may not know me, who may take the time to read but never like, comment or follow. I need practice in writing more. I am a Christian who would like to encourage other believers by sharing my struggles, to exhort them to right choices. I may not always be right, but you never get anywhere by keeping your mouth shut, and I would hope to learn a thing or two as well.
My favorite type of post is something I started on a social site, is one that I call “Strange Confessions”. I make a short confession of something stupid I’ve done or thought and expound upon it, maybe.
Here is my very first one: “Strange Confessions: When I have embarked on an elevator all by myself, I do several roundhouse kicks to the corners to make sure no one invisible got on with me.”
Currently it has become more of a connection of the past toward my attitude now on my Christian walk. Like this one: “Strange Confessions: The reconciliation I had with my Dad started with misheard song lyrics.
I’ve recently rediscovered my enjoyment of listening to The Cranberries. My wife and I have both enjoyed the song styling of this slightly obscure Irish pop/rock band. I remember when I first heard the song “Zombie”. The rock guitar combined with the rich, obviously Irish voice of O’Riordan touched something in me, and I found that the slower, almost depressing songs awoke within me the passion of the dramatic, tearing soul, pulling itself up from within to draw tears that empathized with her view of a darker world full of people who could choose good but instead are facing the horrifying choice they’ve made and the consequences therein. Wow. My normal choices, as of late, has been music that makes me move, (I want to dance). I’ve rejected the stuff of previous times that have been too harsh or too depressing, wondering why we’re all so angry and sad, and yet listening to The Cranberries still evokes a joy at music so quietly powerful in its emotions.
You may know that my Dad left our family when I was a junior in High School, in truth he had left emotionally years before. I and my siblings had a hard time dealing with this and we all dealt with it in our own way. I was nonchalant. I mostly tried not to care, and if I did care and dwell on it too much it got just too damn depressing, so I didn’t think about it. I pretended it didn’t affect me, and eventually it didn’t. I had a history of depression and after Dad left I would get unexplainable bouts that I easily gave in to but never tried to face the issue that may have been causing it.
So, years later, after meeting my wife and her family and becoming a Christian and hearing the idea of forgiveness I started realizing that whatever my Dad did to us I needed to be different from what the world may have expected from me. I started to think about how I could connect with him. But all interactions were frustrating with him. He never called, was always the “Woe is me” type. He just still wasn’t there…. just wasn’t there. I decided not to push, not, in fact, to do anything. I’d wait for him. If he wanted anything, let him make the first move.
Then I listened to the song. The song was “Disappointment”, by, of course, The Cranberries.
Here are the first lyrics: “A disappointment. Oh, you shouldn’t have done, You couldn’t have done, You wouldn’t have done the things you did then. And we could’ve been happy. What a piteous thing, A hideous thing was tainted by the rest, But it won’t get any harder, And I hope you’ll find your way again. And it won’t get any higher, And it all boils down to what you did, Then… [X 8]”
When she says “Then” eight times, I hear her say “Dad”. I saw her as singing about her Dad and what a horrible thing he did when he left their family. How it should have been – happy. But, she hopes he finds his way. She says that deep down if he really would have thought long and hard about it, he never would have been so selfish. She said to me that even though all those things, piteous and hideous that tainted everything, didn’t matter after some time. If you don’t wish ill there can be forgiveness.
She goes on: “In the night we fight, I fled, you’re right. It was exactly then, it was exactly then, I decided, decided, decided, decided. Oh, that threw you out. In the night we fight, I fled, you’re right. It was exactly then, it was exactly then, I decided, decided, decided, decided. Mmm… Mmmm… But it won’t be any harder, And I hope you’ll find your way again. And it won’t get any higher, And it all boils down to what you did, Then… [X 8] / Disappointment… [X 6] / Then… [X 8]” (I still hear here the “Then” as “Dad”)
There was a time I fought with my Dad, and it was then that I decided that he was out. I knew I could never relate to someone so given in to their passion of anger and selfishness. But – again – she tells me it won’t get any harder, it’s alright and that we can hope well for them, and that is forgiveness. When she repeats “Disappointment” over and over until the end of the song, she still feels that pain, the hurt of what went on. But, there is hope.
It helps immensely when you know there are others who have experienced the same thing we have: the pain, the temptation, the regret are all easier to deal with. We really should share more of these experiences, if anything to spur others on to the courageous and/or difficult decisions and actions we all need to make. Even though the sentiment I was hearing wasn’t what she was communicating, it was what truly needed to be on my heart.
So, anyway, I was listening to this song, in this way, all by myself in the apartment my wife and I had the first year we were married, and I was shuddering with the tears pouring out of me, wailing over the broken relationship, all that could have been, and knowing that I can choose to forgive: not forget, but I could forgive. And I did. Many people don’t understand the idea of forgiving someone who has wronged you so horribly, but as Christians that is all we should see. That the horror we inflict on each other because it seems right or makes us happy or we feel justified in some way, or the way we disregard our Creator when we do these things or even when we do evil in His name, that He still forgives us when we come to Him in genuine repentance.
My Dad and my family had a good relationship after that. In fact, before he moved to California, he hugged me, and said “I love you” to me, which he never did before, which he claimed that his mother and father never did for him. Music can change people, even misheard lyrics have a way of getting inside us, turning us to the better. But ultimately it is God who can change us in ways we never would think possible. I am the man I am today because of God. I give Him the glory and hope that my life can reflect that.”
If you like that, perhaps you can search on Facebook for “Stranger in Rebellion” and like it. Maybe I’ll post the “Strange Confessions” congruently.
This will be perhaps my most favored type of posting. But, I also want to do book and movie reviews, thoughts on the culture and the bible. That sort of thing.
I am 43 years old, grew up Catholic in Salt Lake City, Utah. Became a Christian while dating, and marrying my wife. Moved to West Plains, Missouri after 40 years in the Utah desert. I am learning a lot about myself, people, the Church and the connections we all have in this world.
One thing I will be is honest. That is why I titled this first post Honest pursuit. Above all I want to be honest, and I can’t do that where I was, so here I go. Hope you’ll enjoy the ride and see you again soon.