PART SIX– Harvest Haven to Surprise Visitors (cont.)
I think it was in the eighties, but could have been in the nineties, that I had this dream. It seemed that I was a road or paved highway being worked on. There were men working on my face, digging their spades into my cheeks, and plowing furrows into my visage. It was unpleasant and, though not painful physically, I was pained spiritually. I believed the workers to be those about me, such as professed faith and agreement with me. (The proportion of their size to mine was similar to that portrayed in Gulliver’s Travels.)
Of Marilyn, I wrote: “Oh, the hardness, the bitterness there, the horrible, impenetrable division. My wife is sealed inside a hard shell. When I try to embrace her, I embrace someone suited with a full coat of medieval armor, helmet, visor, and all. Even the weapons are held in both hands and not released. It isn’t marriage but hell. Such bitterness!
Now she steadfastly escapes and rejoices at the escape, seeking greener pastures, but to those pastures she will take her armor, her weapons, and her bitterness, and never enjoy that which she seeks, that which is near her, even in her mouth, that word of faith.
If she confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord and believes that God has raised Him from the dead, she will be saved; she will be set free; she will love and not hate, rejoice and not be bitter, rest and not seek in vain, enjoy and not strive; she will be fulfilled and not tormented by unfulfilled desire, wanting she knows not what.
What a tormented woman! Lord, deliver her; have mercy on her. Only You can. There is nowhere we can go but to You for mercy and deliverance from these impossible chains!”
One night I especially experienced from Marilyn the horrible hardness, criticism for everything, combative spirit, absolutely uncompromising domination, and control insisted upon – not directly and openly, but in spirit. In pleading with her that she is wrong in what she is doing, she growled, “Back off!” threateningly.
I was amazed! What was I to do? If I said anything, there was a vicious backlash and denial. I found it impossible to deal with her. If I was to lay my life down (which I was), how was that to look – do I turn the other cheek? I suppose. Return good for evil? Surely. Your grace and nothing else will win the day, Lord. I don’t have it, but You can give it.
One night, while Marilyn and I were in bed, I had a vision of Marilyn seated on a golden throne, high in the sky, among some white cumulous clouds scattered here and there in the background. It was day. She was in shining, white sheer clothing, decently dressed, not exposed. Great peace and rest were on her face. She sat there calmly, reposing on this throne. She was glancing to her right.
Jonathan feared and shunned me. Marilyn had won his heart and caused him to see me as the cause of our battles. These things were very painful. One morning for a moment I saw in him a spoiled brat, a very selfish, self-centered boy; I saw unbrokenness. For the first time, I saw Jonathan and Marilyn in the same light. Was it me? Was it them? What I saw wasn’t good, and either it had to go or my seeing would have to go.
I have seen many times where mothers won the hearts of children from the cradle, so that their sympathies were with the mother. I suppose it’s natural, seeing the mothers breastfeed them, change their diapers, feed, school, dress, bathe, comfort, and put them to bed, generally tending to their needs, including the emotional.
Mothers have the ability, patience, and empathy for children that fathers don’t have in the same way. I’ve come to understand that men are just not cut out for it to the same degree or in the same way. Men can’t be women or mothers and women can’t be men or fathers. It is the women who have the womb and the breast, and the tenderness needed for young children.
Men are made for taking on their calling in life; in process, supporting, protecting, and providing for their families, but not intensely nurturing their children. Woe to the father, in the majority of cases, if division comes between him and his wife, and the little ones he loves are forced to choose one parent or the other. Woe to the children. Woe to all!
Unlike most fathers, I’ve spent most of my time at home, which means much more daily presence and involvement with Marilyn and Jonathan, except for the time spent at the farm in 1996 and half of 1997. I guess that many families would love to have it that way, and I have been thankful for it in certain respects. However, I think there’s a backside to it. It’s said absence makes the heart grow fonder. That’s not always true, but sometimes it is.
It’s also true that familiarity breeds contempt. Too much of a good thing is seldom if ever good. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. All is balanced so that those who have certain advantages and benefits have the other side of the scales to endure. Everything has a price.
While we had more time together, we also had less appreciation of it. If I happened to be away for a week or more, I found more appreciation for one another, but I could also feel it diminish as time passed.
We had quiet relations with the Overbeeks, our next-door neighbors, getting along peaceably. Jonathan was often playing with Jamie, Calista, and Sara. Casey and Vicky professed faith in Christ, went to church, and occasionally made “Christian” remarks. Then came a time when I had to speak.
The lifestyles of those naming Christ are often not a whole lot different from anyone else’s – and I hate that. Yes, they may not smoke (often they do), they may not drink, they may not curse, the women may wear long dresses and not cut their hair, they may go to church and be involved in religious activities, but there are many things they do that they shouldn’t, and many they don’t do or even think of, but should.
Nearly every day, Jamie was riding his noisy dirt bike immediately behind our property and elsewhere in the community. Did the parents not consider this an annoyance to the neighbors? I called Casey and spoke to him about motorbikes and how the Moon River community had banned them a few years before.
I also spoke to him about organic farming and eating organically. As a Christian, was he not concerned about the environment and the crime perpetrated on it by conventional and industrial farming? Were they not concerned about their health and that of their children? Did they not realize how by supporting multinationals in their food production and distribution of non-organic foods, they were contributing to the destruction of the planet?
As Christians, did they not see their obligation to be conscious of these things? They claimed to have the mind of Christ and to be the salt of the earth (a preservative and flavor enhancement), while destroying it with thoughtless, careless, irresponsible chemical usage in pursuit of pleasure and profit.
I told Casey we are facing judgment before God, and ignorance was no more an acceptable plea before Him than before the law courts in this land, which law we respect as a whole. I said all these things were working in me – things I didn’t want to say, yet knew I couldn’t remain silent about.
He walked away without anything to say, which left me asking the Lord, “Did I have to do that? But how long, Lord, do we sit silent, while professing believers go about doing their pleasure and mocking You and righteousness (right action)? Shall we forego because we want good business and social relations with them, denying You and the truth for selfish benefit? Or does it matter that we speak? Please answer, Father!” I was promptly reminded of the words I had heard only days before.
During the time of the conflict at the farm, in a vision I saw a transparent wall, about four feet thick and seven feet high. I was on this side of it, and Paul was frozen motionless in it, as if in ice, having begun to come through it to me. He had a rather confounded expression. On the other side of the wall in the distance, I saw the other people of the farm, gathered about my dead body, viewing it as it lay in state. I was motioning to Paul and to all to come and join me. Paul couldn’t at the moment, and the others were paying no attention.
On September 15, I wrote in my journal:
“I am withheld from the farm. I can’t bear the thought of going there until or unless something significant occurs. The way it stands, I feel significant enmity from Sean, which is encouraged and sustained, if not authored by Marilyn. She stands declaring her betrothal to him, prophesying my physical death, teaming up with Sean in many things, both business and social, and declaring that he will assume my headship/ministry/calling in all things. She looks to him, succors, worships, and feeds from him, but avoids, resists, and chafes at me – with a degree of satisfaction, yet lacking satisfaction somehow, I suppose, because I’m still here.
Sean is very possessive of all things and insists that he is now capable and in charge. He even frets at my requests for groceries from the farm. He insists that he is right and I am wrong, that he understands and I am in darkness. He sees me as a burden, a nuisance, and a threat. He was heard saying, ‘The sooner he goes, the better.’ Truly, he hates me. He loves his life and pants after his ambitions. There is no love in him for anybody, though I see that goes for every one of us.
When he takes a stand against me, Marilyn always sides with him. She is his wife and not mine. I am a relic in her view, soon to be cast off and replaced completely with a new life altogether – one she has desired and feels is coming soon.
Paul has become increasingly uncomfortable and even angry at what is happening. He hopes for a change to come soon. Lois has also expressed discontent. They are uncomfortable with Sean, with Marilyn, and with how those two conduct themselves with each other.”
Commenting on my journal entry, Paul writes: “One day during that summer the Lord ministered to me and gave me understanding and rest regarding Sean and what was happening there. I knew Sean was being used for division and to deal with issues in each person, so it was a good thing from the Lord. I had peace and a much easier time submitting to things after this.”
We wait… and wait some more. In my turmoil, the Lord again spoke to me:
“You are discovering My power in your requests to Me in ways you have scarcely known in the past, by tiny samples. I have brought you to the place where I hear what you ask and give it to you freely and swiftly. I delight in giving to you the desires of your heart. Because you have obeyed Me and submitted yourself to that which was not pleasurable, but required of you, therefore have I granted you all things, My son, in whom I greatly delight.
You have been granted to walk with Me and to sit on the throne, governing all things in this universe… all things. Son, all things are yours now. Even as you would die and leave all things to your son, so I have given all things to My son in My dying. It is done; it is fulfilled. All things are yours. You have no lack. Fulfill all things as they are purposed for you. You need but ask, and all will be given you.
I will open the eyes of the blind and heal the hearts of the hurting and wayward. I will take away the burdens and break the merciless chains of the prisoners. Victor, your efforts are of no necessity or value. Just ask… that’s all you need to do. Be possessed by nothing… only possess. If you believe, all is yours. All is yours because I have given you My faith. I have given you My faith because you are My son, in whom I delight. Delight in Me and you will have all peace and joy. Your battles are over, son. Rest with Me.”
To the Lord, I said, “Lord, even today do I do battle with my wife, even on the heels of Your words to me. We are both in anguish, anger, frustration, and pain. Why? She hears one thing; I hear another. We believe different things. ‘You are totally out of step with what is happening at the farm,’ she says. And so it seems. Why have You not taken me or ended this as I have begged of You? Yet, in fact, if I rest, all is indeed well, very well – trying, yes, trying for all, but very well for all, and only getting better. Lord, I believe You, and all will be well and is well.”
There I was, sitting at home, doing very little, while all the others were working very hard every day, unable to keep up with the work. Was I lazy and irresponsible? Marilyn spent days at the farm and when she came home, she worked as hard here. Yet, they were all in agreement, adamantly so, that I was to refrain from farm activities, discussions, and decisions.
Someone red of how a captain steering his ship had to stay at the helm while a serious emergency arose – a fire, no less. Others had to tend to it, while he continued to steer a safe course. If he were to leave his station and pitch in to help, all would stand in danger of perishing. They applied this scenario to me (I believe it was Lois).
Lois once had a vision in the mid-eighties of my being a watchman on the wall of a city. A watchman has many hours of uneventful time, but he cannot involve himself in the activities for which others are responsible within the city – he can’t even observe them. Should he fail in his duty and let the enemy slip in, he would bring damage, even destruction, upon those depending on him. My duty in my separation was to be quiet and watch.
I sometimes suspected that Lois and the others simply didn’t want me around, and I knew that I couldn’t trust their judgment, yet I knew they were right in this principle.
Whenever I did get involved in farm business affairs, things didn’t go right. Besides, it’s far harder for me to sit and do nothing than to be involved, so I wasn’t sitting back in pleasure or desire of the flesh. Then the Lord said, reminding me: “Haven’t you yourself said that doing nothing and waiting was the hardest thing for anyone to do?”
As I sat, I felt that I was nothing, alone, unwanted, powerless, unsought, uncelebrated, flawed, useless, and carnal. But was I alone in this state? Noah was 500 before we hear of his activity, and Moses was 80 before his work began. “But where am I, Lord?” I asked. “What is happening?”
I saw this vision while at home, separated from everyone. I saw myself squatting behind a bush, defecating. I knew that the Lord was showing me that the time alone was one of purging. As it is written:
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2 MKJV).
During this time, I also had a vision wherein I was chained at the bottom of a swimming pool. I had to get free and it was very difficult, but I did it.
While I continued to claim things had changed with me, I proved otherwise – I saw myself eating like a pig, being hyper, criticizing others – Paul, Marilyn, and Sean – and then self-righteously adding that we’re all in wrongness, including me. I thought, “Frankly, I’m disgusting.”
I began to express to Sean what I was seeing. I began to tell him that either I was sorely deluded or they were wrong altogether and I was seeing and understanding as I ought. I expected that Marilyn would be very angry with me for saying these things to him, charging that I was subverting relationships.
Sure enough, she called, being very upset when Sean told her these things. For the first time, I told her I received that she had walked out from under her covering (her husband) and was deceived in what she heard – yet all with purpose. She said she couldn’t change. I said she was bound in her delusion until God frees her.
A defense she put forth was, “What about all the other things I’ve heard that were true?” God gave me a reply, unpremeditated and incisive: “God still spoke to Eve after the Fall, clothed her, and gave her Cain, Abel, and Seth. Note that it was of Cain that she said she received a man from the Lord. She didn’t say this of Abel. Yet Abel was the righteous one, whom Cain killed.” (I received this as we spoke and spoke it as I received.)
I received that Marilyn was acting upon the things she heard, fulfilling prophecy in the flesh. Then Sean confessed adulterous thoughts about Marilyn to all of us. (Why should that be unexpected?)
Marilyn said she couldn’t talk to me, using that as an excuse to discuss me and our affairs with others. My answer came by revelation that her not being able to talk with me was her fault, not mine. Her problem was that she wanted her own way, she wanted me to rubberstamp her position, and she wanted me to have no reasonable reactions or emotions to her chosen ways, which were contrary to me, to marriage, and to God. I found it unacceptable to be treated like a tape recorder that isn’t even allowed to play back what it is fed.
“Lord, help her! Give her to see and to understand. Set her free.”
Furious verbal battles would rage between us, one of those getting physical when she had her period, being miserable, emotional, and irrational. She attacked me when I was trying to tell her something about how to help Jonathan’s posture in learning to write. I hit her a few times and left bruises.
I felt like killing her and, but for the grace of God, I would have done it. Jonathan was alarmed and saw it as my fault. She had him deceived and sympathetic to her utterly unreasonable and selfish ways. It seemed we were on entirely different wavelengths and that our differences were deep and irreconcilable. Sean cursed me when he saw the bruises.
I found great contradiction with Marilyn. She declared her love for Sean and expected me to accept it, which I did in the sense that I told her to make her choice between us. In other words, I was willing to divorce her. Yet she wouldn’t consent to a divorce, believing it was wrong. She expected me to die, but it wasn’t happening.
She treated me like a darkened, unreasonable, useless, meddling idiot, she believing little if anything of what I had to say, yet prophesied that I was the Lord’s, precious to Him, and that He was taking me to be with Him in a glorious ministry comparable to that of Moses. If I was such a monster and idiot, what would God have to do with me? When I asked her these things, she couldn’t answer, but neither would she change one iota in her stance.
Trevor dreamed he was at a Benson family gathering where he was arguing my innocence of any evil and confronting them on why they should hate me as they did, asking, “What has Victor done wrong?” A day or two later, he received a call from his grandmother to inform him that Bill Benson, her husband, had passed away. They had recently been in a major car collision, sustaining significant, crippling injuries.
Trevor went to the funeral. When he returned, he reported that it seemed uneventful and he had little to say; however, I told him his dream had been fulfilled. His presence there demonstrated he was free to come and go as he needed, contrary to their suspicions and accusations. He asked the question without words, and thus fulfilled the dream.
In 1 Thessalonians 1, we read:
“Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians, in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:1 MKJV).
So trinitarians, who claim there are three persons, say, “How can you possibly argue that Jesus and the Father are the same Person?”
Yet in the next verse, Paul says, “We give thanks to God…” Why not give thanks to Jesus Christ as well? In verse three, Paul says “…in the sight of God and our Father…” Is he talking about two persons here? Isn’t God our Father? So, is Jesus Christ the Father?
Why is Paul repeating himself? I’m told that, linguistically, it is a Hebrew custom to do so, even as in the Old Testament, where so many things are repeated in this manner.
In verse nine, Paul says, “…you turned from idols to God in order to serve the living and true God….” Do we not serve the Lord Jesus Christ and Him only? In verse ten, trinitarians pick up some apparent fuel with “…and to wait for His Son from Heaven (Whom He raised from the dead)….” But at one time, Jesus said:
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19 MKJV).
Constantly, it was brought home to me that Jesus the Son and God the Father are One and the Same Person, not two in one. There is no “Terrible Trinity,” or “Dynamic Duo.”
“Here, O Israel, the Lord your God is One Lord! ”
There is a Scripture that has bothered me from time to time:
“Woe to those who join house to house, laying field to field, until the end of space, and you are made to dwell alone in the middle of the land!” (Isaiah 5:8 MKJV)
Most people haven’t interpreted the words this way, but I’ve often wondered if those words don’t condemn communal living. We personally experienced living in socialistic kibbutzim and moshavim in Israel. We witnessed firsthand, with the group in Ottawa and “The Move” at Marvin Mielke’s, the trying conditions of various families and individuals living in one house.
Families taking up temporary residence with those who have taken them in have found their relationships deteriorating. We’ve experienced firsthand the peculiar problems arising from such arrangements, living with the Beals and others for very short stretches. I’ve been opposed to the inherent inequities of socialism, being compelled to have all things common with those who were irresponsible and lazy.
So what were we doing gathering people at the farm? Were we adding “house to house”? Were we begging for trouble? There were all sorts of conflicts, not the least being with Marilyn, Sean, and me, though Sean wasn’t living in our very home. How long would anyone stick around? How would we share? If any wished to join us, what would they bring with them? If they wished to leave, what would they take?
Besides the socialistic aspects, there were personality conflicts, pressing farm duties that couldn’t wait without loss or destruction of some kind, especially when dealing with livestock. There were constant adverse weather conditions, and there was so much ignorance and lack of skill with everyone – the list goes on and on. Could we do it? Should we do it? Would we do it? Who should do what? Who was to take the lead?
Time would tell. Already, we had several casualties – Archie and his family except for Chris and Nathan – so far.
Marilyn was vexed by me, worshipping Sean and their future; Sean was in a constant quagmire of introspection, endless analysis of everything, being the supreme example of anal retentiveness; Paul was clinging to Kerri, who was opposing me; Lois seemed to be a sycophant, almost worshipping me; Chris and Nathan were sorely vexed by Sean; Trevor longed for women and entertainment; and I was cut off from wife, son, farm, farm people, and activities. It would be nothing short of a miracle to see things work out.
The prophesied storm was raging.
I could only pray, “Your will be done. I must simply give thanks and go on. I have no other choice. I am nothing and can do nothing. It is all Yours, Lord Jesus, and I am but a sinner and a hypocrite, a phony exposed.”
On October 1, 1997, I asked for wisdom and received that I was to suffer all loss and wrongdoing patiently – it works patience – and God would replenish, reward, and resurrect. As I look back to this time, I find that God was always faithful to tell me what I needed to know for the time. It was just a matter of believing Him, and I was doing a perfectly miserable job of that.
Jason was taken to Stettler by the authorities (I don’t remember why) but was fearful of what a Constable Bishop would do to him, seeing Jason knew what he knew of him. What could we believe of what Jason said? But why would he lie about these things? He had nothing to gain and apparently something to lose.
On September 26, 1997, Kerri called asking to return, and Paul brought her back to the farm. Her job was finished and she had nowhere else to go, not that she didn’t want to come back to the farm.
I wrote this letter to everyone at the farm:
To all those with whom, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I have had to do.
Some things have been working in me. Let us see if I can elucidate.
Over the years, I have been telling everybody what to do, when and how, often why. In the end, I was busy lording it over everyone, if not from the very beginning. Truly, it has been so all along. I am no longer permitted to do so. I have been taken from the farm and my wife taken from me to whatever extent in whatever way.
I don’t entertain any notion of returning the farm to the way it was. I know that you all want no part of it as it was and I was the one who made it so.
In my defense, I would say that while I trespassed, failing to sanctify Him before you, as did Moses against the Lord, I would also say with Moses that you are all rebels who provoked me and because of you I’ve been cut off. Even as I say this, I see at least one or two gleeful about it. Likely there are more than one or two. So it is.
I don’t live in your world or you in mine. My view and understanding of authority is very different from yours. I believe that when someone is subject to another, he should obey without strife, without resistance, doing as he is told. But with all of you, every last one, I see that you believe in independence, democracy, rights, and freedoms.
I constantly hear of one blowing up, getting his back up, ignoring orders, arguing, and doing his own thing. He says he doesn’t have to be told what to do, that he knows his business. Is that submission? Is that honoring authority? On the contrary, that attitude and reaction vividly display and prove beyond doubt the need for supervision, for the exercise of authority – the rod of iron. “The rod is for a fool’s back.”
Always the one in authority is blamed. The one below is the knowledgeable, righteous one. If master and servant disagree and the servant says, “I don’t need a master (someone telling me what to do)” then is not that servant setting himself up as a judge or authority? Is that not rebellion, which God declares to be as witchcraft?
One tells me he doesn’t like to be “micro-managed,” though I couldn’t possibly have covered 5% of the details of his affairs – which affairs done by him affect me and everyone else, so it isn’t as though it is none of my business. How is it that those put under authority know so much and each chafes at the yoke? Why am I not at your farm, brought there and given your job? Why were you not in the Lord’s stead speaking to me and not I in His stead speaking to you?
You rebels all stand, wise and strong. You ought all to be proud of yourselves… so dutiful, so obedient, and so wise.
I don’t belong in your world. In my world, submission to authority means, “Thy will be done, not mine… your judgment, not mine; your opinion, perspective, decision, not mine.” In your world, it is, “My judgment is as valid as yours; not your will, but mine be done.” I can’t accept your ways.
I honestly believe that if you had not been so hardhearted and rebellious, I wouldn’t have had to be the way I was. It was a rare joy and uplifting of the soul when one would actually go out, in right attitude, and do joyfully what was required, when and how. But there is little evidence that anyone cares for the words in Hebrews 13:17 saying, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
“He is not ruling over me! He doesn’t know what he’s doing! He’s not watching for my soul! I’m sure of it. He’s watching out for himself! How can he be watching for me when he doesn’t understand where I’m coming from?”
The student knows more than the teacher, the son more than the father, the servant more than the master, the wife more than the husband, man more than God, not considering that God places the heads, and you therefore rebel against Him.
I can’t return to your world. I won’t. Rejoice! The yoke is gone! You’re free, free, free! Let “every man do that which is right in his own eyes”!
If all of you can create a democratic world and enjoy individual independence, having nobody to give commands and nobody to be subject to, wonderful! I wish you well. I suppose I’m of the “old school.” Here now I finally say as an old man, “I’m an old fogy, always resisting progress.”
None of you can stand being told what to do. Sooner or later, you break out. So be it. You don’t want any more and neither do I. But when all learn to submit and obey, I say that then and only then will you have your utopia.
P.S. – How do I draw these conclusions? I go by the letters I get from you; by your direct words and reviling, such as with Chris; by the reports of my wife, Lois, and Sean; by my experiences with Kerri, Trevor, and Nathan; by the report of your recent discussion that you don’t wish to return to the way it was. Certainly, without me it will not be so.
I said, “Come to the feast,” but all I got were replies like, “I have chickens and irrigation – no time.” “I have a wife – no time.” “I have ambition – no time.” “I’m too important and spiritual – no time.”
My invitation degenerated to anger. I lost it and lost everything. And I am held responsible. And this is profitable for whom?
Who is he there that says, “Blessed is he that comes in the Name of the Lord”? Not one of you. You all scream out the opposite. Why? Because you love your own darkness.
They took Jesus’ life. Not only did God return it but glorified it and gave Him authority over everything. So will it be with me, if I endure wrong patiently. Here is wisdom. And if I can do this, who is it that can hurt me?
Many times was the question asked, “What is going on?” Things were so bizarre. Onlookers would understandably exclaim, “They are lunatics!” One day, Lois asked and I had the answer. I said:
“This is what is happening: The Lord is revealing and destroying that wicked one, that man of sin in each of us, as He has done in me and in us corporately (as the Body of Christ). He is taking over, expelling, destroying the one who acts as God, that self-righteousness in each of us. The man of sin is the reason why there is no submission to authority, no cooperation, only backstabbing, murmuring, snarling, and arguing. Each one serves himself.
“When that man of sin remains in only one of the group, that group will suffer failure, wrath, and loss. There will be no peace until that man of sin is consumed in every last person. That is what is happening.”
I listened to an interview with Steve Smith (The Red Green Show) – a very interesting, pleasant, realistic, sensible, unassuming, funny, easy-going, successful-in-many-ways guy. He seems so objective, carefree, enjoying people and life, seeing the funny side of things, yet not losing sight of the basics. He said, “I’d rather be at the bottom and know where I am than somewhere at the top and lost.” I think Steve Smith, in personality and outlook, is my opposite.
“Lord, I’m wrong to envy him, I know. I’m also wrong to regret I’ve been so uptight all my life. I ask You to hold me and mine and show us what we need to see and how to see it. Help Marilyn and Jonathan – help them – grant me to be there for them. Help the others.
“Lord, you didn’t call me to be a comedian; You didn’t call me to be an artist or musician, farmer or businessman; You didn’t call me to be a success of any kind in this world. You did call me out of this world, to be Yours for Your purposes in this world and the one above. I am not of this world – of that I have been both painfully and sometimes joyfully aware, depending on whether I believed or not. Truly, to live in this world and yet have no place in it is not easy, not for me or for Marilyn, Jonathan, or anyone else having anything to do with me. The day fast approaches – it is already here. What awaits, Lord? What is it that is coming, Father?”