Today my Mother called me. I hesitated to answer the phone because – to be frank – her phone calls annoy me. She always seems a bit whiny and I can never listen to her go on for more than a few minutes. I usually pick up the phone and put up with it – for at least a few minutes – just because she’s my Mom.
A call about my Dad
The call goes something like this:
“Daddy really wants you to call him.” She has referred to him like that since I was a kid. “He’s off drugs and called me crying, he really wants you to call him.” I’m annoyed at this point – like going to church is someone’s free pass to sympathy and forgiveness. I want actions – not a crutch used to help someone to feel less guilty!
“I know, I know. I’ll think about it.” I tell my mother I will consider calling my Father, but the truth is I won’t. I will not even entertain the idea. The phone works both ways and if God can miraculously get him off the methamphetamine then it can help him use the phone to call his son – this isn’t my job.
I get off the phone with my Mom as quickly as she called.
Change is happening everywhere, it seems
I tell my good friend Holden about what’s happened and he shares a similar story. He describes an experience that occurred just last weekend between he and his Father-in-Law (who he shares years of bad blood with).
Dude, I have a pretty fucking crazy story of a similar nature of my own.
So, I told you my father in law has been going to the church of tongues, being ordained as a minister… etc.
Well, last weekend I go to my wife’s grandmother’s house to get a shovel to do some yard work and her dad is back there with a truck, loading it up with old limbs and stuff.
He’s trying to lift a huge ass limb, so I get a hatchet and help him cut it up, load it up, etc. We just exchange small talk and pleasantries. We’re civil to each other.
Then I ask him if he needs help unloading all that shit at the landfill. He says no but says we need to talk.
He proceeds to apologize for every shit thing he’s ever done to me, thanks me for taking good care of his daughter, applauds my work ethic and getting the MBA even with a kid, preggo wife and full time job. Apologizes about everything, tells me he loves me, hes proud of me…
I return all the same gesture, we shake hands and that was that. He didn’t say anything to anyone, I didn’t say anything to the wife, nothing has been said about it since..
I was floored. WTF. Wow. If the attitude sticks, I will forever be proven wrong about the guy. Amazing.
Religion Allows Change
Can religion really change a man? If so, how?
I think there is no doubt that religion allows for change. Especially for the stubborn or prideful (aren’t we all…). However, I doubt the solution is a malevolent one. I mean I somehow doubt the grace of God or Jesus’ hand touches a man’s soul granting serenity. That’s all hocus-pocus to me – but I’m being cynical.
Rather than the mystic – I think the change religion grants a man is more natural, more obvious, and surly as equally effective. My theory is religion gives a prideful man an opening to change his bad habits without losing face to himself, his friends, and family. It give a guy an out, a second chance, a clean slate – and a chance to feel okay about it!
Maybe Christianity really is about forgiveness – like it says in the bible. Except in reality I don’t think it is God or Jesus who is doing the forgiving – rather it allows you to forgive yourself and allows your family to look beyond your mistakes and forgive you too. That is very positive and very powerful.
Maybe for those of us who aren’t religious we can learn an important lesson about the power to truly forgive our fellow man and ourselves. Almost all major religions teach these same lessons – To lose one’s ego and to forgive – I think they’re on to something.