Thursday, September 16, 2004
Greatest day of my life... almost
I thought yesterday was going to be the greatest day of my life. The laptop finally arrived. Just try to imagine my giddy ecstasy. I dare you. I had class from 8 to 11. And there's a notice in my mailbox. Strangely, however, the box turns out to be much smaller than expected. I take it back to my room. It's the mouse, WiFi finder and antivirus software. I find this all largely irrelevant without a machine. So, I go to lunch. Try again at the post office. And there she is. Big, brown box with blue "DWLL" letters across it. I race her back to my room. Shred open the box. Configure Windows and race to the library to get the wireless configured. They tell me it will take 24 hours. "24 HOURS?!!" What, are you performing open heart surgery? Gotta wait for the yeast to rise or something? Thus, I leave her at the counter, feeling what I'm certain all mothers feel just after they've given birth and the doctor whisks the kid away. If you're an experienced mother and reading this, please don't piss on my analogy. I know what I felt.

And now here I am next day. No more towers in the library (sorry no pic, Tim). It's 11:30. I'm in my room. Waiting on files to copy over from the old machine. Listening to the M's and the Angels. I should really get to bed as I get back to Ad Fontes work tomorrow.


So I'm working through Nick Hornby's How to Be Good. I know, I know... like I've got time for leisure reading. But I started it before school started and I'm determined to finish it, if only a chapter at a time. I dig Hornby's stuff (About a Boy, High Fidelity) and in particular his character portraits. That said, this has been tough reading. Not in the way that reading primary source documents of early Church history is difficult to wade through, but difficult in the sense that it strikes a personal chord that makes me fidget uncomfortably. In a nutshell, the story is told from the perspective of a midde-aged woman who hates her life, hates her marriage, asks her husband for a divorce until some new-agey spiritual conversion transforms him, which sends her reeling. It's those first chapters as she articulates her emotional crisis that Hornby's portraiture echoes the themes of my own current standing:
You see, what I really want, and what I'm getting with Stephen [Katie's young stud, one-night fling], is the opportunity to rebuild myself from scratch. David's [her bitter husband] picture of me is complete now, and I'm pretty sure neither of us likes it much; I want to rip the page out and start again on a fresh sheet, just like I used to do when I was a kid and had messed a drawing up. It doesn't even matter who the fresh sheet is, really, so it's beside the point whether I like Stephen, or whether he knows what to do with me in bed, or anything like that. I just want his rapt attention when I tell him that my favorite book is Middlemarch, and I just want that feeling, the feeling I get with him, of having not gone wrong yet.

Please, don't misunderstand: there're no one-night flings going on. It's that starting all over on a fresh sheet of paper that I feel like I'm staring down. It's the feeling of having not gone wrong yet that strikes a painful chord. Can that happen at all?

Chapel is every Tuesday and Thursday at 11. I'm trying to make it a priority as I'm quite enjoying it thus far. But today was God poking and prodding in places I'd just as soon he'd leave alone. Dr. Seamands was preaching, and as he's responsible for such titles as Wounds that Heal, I had an inkling of where this might go. Turns out, according to Isaiah 53, that Christ's suffering takes away not only all my sin, but also my my grief and sorrow:
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:3, NIV).

And in my head I'm replaying the climactic scene from Good Will Hunting between Will and Sean, only this is me and Jesus, the portfolio of my divorce spread out on the desk.

"It's not your fault."
"I know."
"It's not your fault."
Choking, "I know."
"It's not your fault."
Defensively, "I know."
"Really, it's not your fault."
"Don't fuck with me. Don't you fuck with me Jesus. Not you. Please, not you."
"It's not your fault."
And I lose it, huddled over in the pew, weeping. Seamands goes on to say that it's the wounds of Christ that heal our wounds at the cross, that the place of our greatest brokenness becomes the source of our greatest sense of spiritual authority. I really don't know what to do with this right now.

Now that the laptop's here, hopefully these blogs o' mine will get caught back up to speed now. Couldn't transfer the photo software, though, so I'll still have to figure out what to do with that.

posted by Peter at 11:18 PM
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