A tale of two words… What vs That…

What I have lost.

That I am lost.

Oh what a difference a word makes.  Just like the comma where one could say “let’s eat grandpa,” or “let’s eat, grandpa.”  Or the Oxford comma, “Rachel Ray finds inspiration in cooking, her familiy and her dog,” or “Rachel Ray finds inspiration in cooking, her family, and her dog.  Or, the William, Shatner, comma, which is, also, important.

And just like punctuation can be the difference between life and death, at least for grandpa, two words can mean the difference between realizing things about your life, mainly, that Christ gives it to you.

In my first blog-post I emphasized that I had lost an amazing woman.  That after being catfished and doing a lot of lying, my wife decided to leave me, and she’s better for it to be honest.  And then I did a little bit of self-pitying and discussed how I sometimes cry while food shopping or shopping at Kohls (yeah, I’m not well off enough to pay more than $25 for a pair of shorts).  I also discussed that I was considering Bankruptcy and other such weighty things.  In retrospect what I should have been discussing was not the bankruptcy that I faced physically, specifically financially, but the bankruptcy that my soul faced in light of this situation, which was the precursor to it.

I can ponder all the things i have lost.  I can wax eloquent about how much I miss her.  How I miss even the little things.  Like brushing our teeth together or watching a show as she falls asleep clinging to me.  “It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, it meant that we were supposed to be together, and I knew it.”  Like taking a walk in the heat and then coming home and complaining about how hot it was outside.  Even making her soup when she is sick.  She wasn’t the best at everything, but she certainly was the best at being my wife.  And like the Prodigal Son I squandered the wealth that God gave me.

However, no matter how sad I am about the things i miss about her, or how beautifully or straightforwardly I describe all the things that made our marriage wonderful…  It’s not about what I lost, it’s about the fact that I am.  I’m pitifully and horribly lost.  I’m destitute and disparate.  I am a derelict.

You see.  I was born into sin.  And I kept on in that tradition.  I’m not going to get too preachy, because let’s face it, I don’t deserve to be.  But I do realize that I was born poor and I couldn’t make a living myself.  My soul was born in the slums of creation and no matter what it did it just couldn’t get out.  I was born in sin and I kept sinning.

The problem with this however is that there is a penalty for being poor.  Poor people will tell you.  Being poor is not as glamorous as the media portrays…  kidding.  The stories abound.  Most people who are poor die early.  They suffer the duration of their unfortunately short lives and then they die, typically as a direct consequence of their poverty.  And I was dying.  My sin was leading to death.  And I couldn’t do anything on my own to stop it.

But then, that wasn’t the plan anyway.  After some research and some searching, Google aided this process, I found out, that the father I had estranged myself from to become poor, was wealthy.  In 1 Kings 3:13, God tells Solomon that because Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people fairly rather than wealth or women, God would not only give him the wisdom he sought, but the wealth and honor as well.  And according to the Bible and history, there was nobody richer than King Solomon.  Except my estranged Father.  Little did I know He was seeking me out before I even conceived of looking for him.

And then one day we met.  He saw how desperate I was.  He saw how destitute I was.  He saw it in my eyes, and my furrowed brow, and my countenance.  He saw it in my posture which was as poor as I was.  And He told me He wanted me back.  He told me that He wanted me to stop eating the crap, to stop living in filth, to stop acting like a poor man, and to start acting like the son of a King.  He wanted to give me confidence and help me feel the nobility of a royal bloodline.  He told me that He would give me an inheritance that was worth more than all the gold in the world.

And after hearing such a proposition, I spilled myself on the floor.  I was so dirty, I wanted to know what clean felt like. I emptied myself of the skeletons that were in my closet and I told him that I had debt that I could not pay.  I was poor because I was born in debt and it was crushing me.  And I just could not pay it.  My credit cards were maxed out.  My student loans were piling on interest.  And my credit score was a shambles.

And He looked into my eyes and said “son, I already have.  I have taken your place with the creditors.  The only way to pay off your debt was to become it myself.  You won’t see me anymore but you don’t have, I’ll be inside of you, I’ll take up residence within you and therefore I will always be with you.”  And with that selfless act, my Father spread His arms and gave Himself for me.

And after years and years of living debt-free.  After years and years of enjoying the spoils and the blessings of being the heir or a rich Father, I began taking His love and His gifts for granted.  I began living like a poor man again despite being rich.  I was no longer the thankful son, I became the entitled son.  And I squandered some of the best gifts that He gave me.  I still have an inheritance mind you, but I messed it up and it will never be the same.

It’s not about what I lost, it’s about the fact that I am lost.  I am lost.  I am a kid at the carnival that left the security of his mom for some cotton candy, however delicious, not worth it.  I am a dog in the park that decided to leave it’s owner to pee on a distant tree.  I am Nemo in the ocean.  I am completely an utterly lost.  And the only way to find my way back to whatever semblance of a life I have left is to draw near to my Father once again.  To seek His lead in my heart.  To ask Him to speak louder than He has ever spoken.  To cry out to Him.  And hope, and pray, that He will grab His son’s hand once again and lead him home.

“Father, thank you for loving me enough to die for me and giving me the inheritance I did not deserve by becoming my debt.  Please forgive me for the ways I have mistreated You and your daughter.  Please lead me back to You.  I am utterly without, unless I have You.  Please.  Forgive me.  And be with her.  Amen.”

#prodigal #wealth #poor #squandered #marriage # son #father #kings


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