Wednesday, October 25, 2006

summer lovin'... had me a blast

so we were driving up to duluth. it was the third of july i believe, but don't quote me on that. erin said, "i don't think you're being honest with yourself. i think there's more there than you think." the phrase heard round the world. because before that, i never really gave it much serious thought. so i dove into the pool in my heart that had her name on it. i swam as deep as i could to see where it ended. but it didn't. it just kept going deeper. "that's strange", i thought. i just kept swimming deeper and deeper thinking i'd hit the bottom at any second. but i never did. finally i had to come up for air. "holy shit!" i said as soon as my lungs had air again. the depth of love that was in there only had two other reserves quite so large and that was the one for my wife erin and one for my son zaavan. not surprising, though. she has been an absolutely dear friend caring for me AND my family in so many ways. there are actually a couple of rough patches that we wouldn't have made it through if she didn't stand in and pour herself out for us.

what does this mean? i asked. of myself AND my wife. this love was the real stuff. genuine. pure, clear. what am i supposed to do with it? why is it here and so much of it? what does this mean, lord?

"i know what it means." said a voice. well it didn't speak so much as offer a picture. "family." okay, great. what do you mean by that? but the voice was gone. or at least, if it was not gone, it said nothing more.

and thus began a two month journey. a two month conversation. a two month process of exorcism. but that's the benefit of hindsight. on the 17th, my birthday, erin had to work and she took me out to lunch. it was a wonderful time. i've always enjoyed her company. strangely enough, she is one of only a few humans i have ever known that can just take me. no matter who i am or how i am, she could always just accept it and it was never abnormal. this occasion was no different. so i came back to erin and told her about it and said, "there is definite love there. i just don't know what it's supposed to mean. i just get a feeling of family when i'm around her. what does that mean? am i supposed to have another wife? i know there are several people in the bible who have had more than one wife so i don't think it's super weird or anything. and if it is something what god wants, i want to be open to that." so i began exploring people's writings who have dealt with this subject before to see what they had to say. the more i talked to erin about it, the more erin encouraged me to not be shy and to just talk openly with her about it. it was actually driving us both a bit crazy having it just sitting around like some sort of an elephant in the room. we wanted to know how she would handle the news.

as much like a champ as one could expect. the answer was basically, "no thanks", but her, being the person she is, just kind of shrugged it off and stayed close to us. continuing, all the while, to love us and our family and help us out of many jams. unfortunately for me, she didn't look me in the eye when she said no thanks. the only reason this was a problem was because she ALWAYS looks me in the eye when we talk. it's one of those great relationships where real communication and honesty happens. anyway... because she didn't look me in the eye, i wasn't convinced she was being honest with me. and this just plagued my brain. it began taking over everything. but god kept bringing me back to honesty. he'd tell me, "that's not all. there's more." and so i would open up and talk more. about painfully truthful things that were inside of me. these tortured thoughts of confusion because one paradigm had been set and i couldn't see outside of it. and it was tearing me up and it was tearing erin up.

finally, one morning towards the end of september, while erin was out of town at her friend's bachelorette party, i woke up early on sunday morning to give zaavan his breakfast. after i had him all set, i ended up cleaning the kitchen and living room and listening to deliriou5?'s cutting edge for two hours. i like to clean while i pray, it gives my body something to do so i can focus my mind and energies on god. anyway... i'm going around and around asking him, what the fuck is going on?! and after about 2 hours a spiritual transaction happened. i got a vision of what transpired two days later. and what i saw was a huge arm reach into my heart and grab something and then pull it out and show it to me. what i saw in it's hand was a dark little implike thing with yellow eyes and fangs. without a word, i knew immediately it was lust. as soon as the recognition was there the hand crushed the imp and threw it away.

later that same day, she and her friend both came over and brought their kids. (both are single mothers) as i saw her 6 month old next to zaavan, and watched zaavan making attempt to actually engage in some sort of primal conversation with him. and got to fingerpaint with one of the most mature 5 year old girls i have ever met. and as i saw it all and held it all in and how wonderufl the scene was, i heard the voice say again, "this. this is what i was talking about. family." community. fuck ups helping each other out. that's what the kingdom of god is all about, is it not?

so, the only part of it i regret is allowing lust to come in and make me want to have her for my own. and that is the only thing i regret. which, even then, was tame as far as what we think of when we hear the word "lust". erin asked once what thoughts i had been having about this woman in a physical sense. and wanted me to be honest. i was. i told erin when i thought about her that way it was in the variety of hugs or hand holding. erin told me i was corny. yet she sounded glad to hear the truth all the same.

i cannot say what everyone involved got out of it. that is between them and god. of course everyone experienced pain. but much joy as well. we need to be honest about that. but bigger than this physical situation was god always there staring me in the face and seeing if i was going to be honest about what was inside of me or if i was going to lie. over and over again prompting me to be honest about things that were too fucked up and painful to be honest about. but always asking for honesty all the same. and it has been useful to be sure. i have now almost completely overcome my fears of talking to people face to face and saying the hardest possible things i can without fear of their reaction. which, from what i gather from the bible, is an important trait in one called of him. as well as the willingness to leave everything for the sake of that call. and i mean everything. i was glad to learn that too.

He doesn't let you know there's a ram in the bushes until He's sure you've got the knife at your son's throat, ready to slit it just because He asked you to.


Wendy ftfs said...

Interesting stuff ... and a story as old as time.

Very interesting that I was thinking about men and women and their intimate relationships just this morning ....

Can't comment now I'll be back when I have more time ... ;-)

jON said...

i'm actually waiting to hear your thoughts. it's something i've thought a lot about as well. sometimes i feel a little short changed because i am a man. women (on a greater average) know how to have great interpersonal relationships. being a man and having those kind of open, vulnerable, and sharing types of relationships carries with it many taboos as well as trials. i hate that gender has to get in the way of two beings connecting and sharing with one another. because that's how i feel we were truly meant to live with one another.

as far as i'm concerned, women WAY outclass men in the human being department. it's clear that women are far superior to men in nearly every way. so it's easy to see why for women, created last out of all creation (and therefore the best), having to live in a world ruled and dominated by men is a curse.

so what are your thoughts?

Wendy ftfs said...

It's awful quiet here ... I'm wondering how many people have stones in their pockets ready to throw them?

Good subject ... I hate the gender thing, as well, getting in the way of friendships.

I have a question before we explore this ... Is all well with Erin and was she hurt over this?

Remember we are being open and honest ... no glossing over ;-)

jON said...

of course she was. shattered, actually. which was not known at the time but came out afterwards. and now we are putting things back together. which is actually a good thing because what we had built together over our first ten years was something that didn't actually work very well. it's good now, having ten years together and being ten years more mature, to start building again with who we are now. but, i would like her to chime in and say what she has to.

and i simply think people don't know what to say. when we open up and share our broken places, yes, the reaction from others, sometimes, is to jump all over it because it can make us feel better to have the focus off of ourselves. but i'm not thinking that is the case here. some are dumbfounded, and i know others, such as my old friends i had from my years of leading youth group, have been counseled to have no contact with me because i'm dangerous. makes me very, very sad that as a result of opening up and being honest, a person will be labeled dangerous. but as long as you live a life of shadiness and dishonesty and never share that with anyone, you're perfectly acceptable. not sure how that adds up.

thanks for your kindness wendy. always appreciated.

Anonymous said...


I love you and I will always be here for you no matter what. It took a lot of courage to post something showing your underbelly. We all have it, but most of us won't expose it for the world to see. I have yet to meet anyone, and I mean anyone, that hasn't struggled from time to time. We are all guilty. But what I believe ultimately makes us human beings is not only our mistakes but also our capacity to understand and ultimately forgive. As I have said to you in the past, I was and am still worried for Erin through all of this. It can't be easy to digest for anyone and I know you understand your part. But what I am grateful for is that you are no longer living in darkness. I have also been there in the past and it isn't an easy place to be. This was something boiling underneath the surface that was going to raise its ugly head in one form or another. At least now you and Erin are being honest with each other and have everything out on the table. For good and bad. But like my grandpappy use to say, While we can not change the past, we are constantly creating our future. Take care brother.

little bro from the dirty south

Anonymous said...

No stones here. I've been quiet (as I usually am), but have been reading all along--reading and contemplating how (or even IF) I should respond.

Here's the thing, Jon (and I hope no one perceives this as a "stone")--I can tell you that I appreciate your transparency and your willingness to discuss the not-so-pretty things of your life, but 1) I don't really know you and can only ASSUME you're being truly transparent (an assumption I'm willing to believe is correct) and 2) you don't really know ME and I'm a little uncomfortable about stepping into a place in which I don't really feel like I have a "platform" from which to speak.

We ARE all guilty and broken and many who wear the name "Christian" refuse to acknowledge that guilt and brokenness in their own lives...I'm not one of those people. I have a friend who calls us "cracked pots" and I like that term, because the more cracked we are, the more God's light/love can shine out through our cracks.

I may say more later and I may not, but know if I'm silent, it's not a silence of condemnation.

jON said...

hey, thanks for speaking up little bro! i know you are one of the most faithful readers i have and yet you say so very little. good to have you back in voice and perspective. thank you for your words of kindness and concern. we are on the same page.

and yes. we are creating our future. what an interesting concept.

jON said...

goodness dena, you were leaving a comment as i was as well. great to have you speaking up! as i said, i know that most people who come here often and don't speak (and i know who you are) simply have nothing to say. or feel as if what they would have to say may or may not be valuable. i appreciate any and all input no matter how it rubs me. because in the end, it helps to shape my life.

if you have questions, feel free to ask them. if you have comments, feel free to leave them. i do not think that you condemn me. if you were that type, you would have stopped reading a L O N G time ago. i know that the ones who hang around are my kind of people. ;)

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing, Jon, as always I appreciate your honesty.