WHEN LOVE POURS DOWN, Scene 3
Steve meets me at the door. “O honey. I am so sorry.” My heart skips. But the tragedy shadows his face. He takes me to the back window. The willow behind our house is split down the middle. A victim of the storm outside. One half sprawls to the heavens, the other lies prostrate upon the mud and muck.
“I loved that tree.” I choke back tears. My heart often skipped at its fullness in the summer, and its delicate hanging lace in the winter. We'd sat beneath the tree one Mother's day. My son upon my knee, and the babe hidden within my womb—still alive and growing. And then our anniversary night, we lay just beyond it's crown and counted stars while our little boy slept. The flimsy fingers of the willow then caressed our backs as we danced to our favorite song. It stood on fertile ground where my heart found fullness from the love of a mother and a wife. It was a strong sprout of love out my window.
Split in two. Like my marriage, like my heart. But which was I? The fallen one or the one reaching to the sky? Just this morning I would have known. But now, I am not so sure.
While the storm lulls, I want to run. I never ran away as a child. I don't even remember wanting to because I was too scared of bad people and bad places and bad things. But I want to run. Shed this broken shell and find freedom form the torment of Steve's word-view. The blasphemous perspective of life without faith.
Nature outside refreshes from the torment of hail, but the air is stagnant in here. The refrigerator buzzes and the dog whines. Steve returns to his dark room with the dark show buzzing from the dark corner.
My son finds me, clinging close, begging, “I want you to hold me.”
And I just don't want to. I don't want anymore attachment to anyone. It hurts too bad. Yet, I cannot disappoint my son because who will he run to then? The man who's killed God and won't let me forget it?
I gather him in my arms, kiss his forehead and try to praise God. But my heart is overgrown, and the spidery cracks upon my soul threaten to pull apart and leave me in a heap at the feet of Faith.
“Mama, read me a story.” Jack shoves his favorite book in my lap. The one about Jonah. The one with the stories that Steve regrets teaching my child. My husband slams the door to church, blocking it out as if it were a haunted fabrication of our past.
“It isn't good for our son to learn such things. He'll just be deceived all his life, and then struggle when he finds out its all myth.”
“But it's not myth to me.”
And our own howling tempest would begin, where thunder rages from our tongues, and angry tears flood my skin.
Has my little boy suffered from the fight? We try to keep our words low, behind our bedroom door...but he knows. I am sure of it.
Knowledge is at the eye of this outrage.
The knowing of a dead babe within me destroying Steve's trust in God.
Steve seeking man's knowledge to replace his faith.
And my little son's knowledge of our division filling his heart.
And the threat...
“He's gotta know the truth.” Steve insists on worming his knowledge into the ripening fruit of my four year old's fresh soul.
And at that, I whirl in a chaotic wind, and I am dashed about in horror. “I'll not have it! You're not going to screw him up, too!”
Every night, I embrace Jack as he sleeps, and pray angels upon his heart.
Now, I read the Bible stories, feeling like a deceiver according to Steve.
“You know you belong to God, little Jack?” I whisper as he traces his finger upon the illustration of the whale.
“Yes, Mama. Jesus is in my heart.”
And the canyon between my husband and I grows wide and deep like the cracks in my soul. And we are not united parents any longer.
But my foot stumbles on the canyon's edge, and panic fills my throat with a flood of worry.
Will Steve match my whispers to Jack, with his own destructive ideas?
What lies will he tell my son? When you are told over and over who you are, don't you begin to believe it?
A shard of my soul breaks away from the vessel, and I see now that my hope is fleeting.
I'll not allow my son to fall away from God's hands. His daddy won't have that control any longer.
I ignore the One Who Sees. I close off my ears to His mutter. Flesh consumes my heart and I do what I know is best.
Take away my love for Steve. He doesn't deserve it now. I am no longer bound to him as a Godly wife, for he's not playing by those rules.
And I'll not have him crush my son beneath his disbelief.
No. I'll not have it.
“Come, little Jack. Let's go on an adventure.” And I sweep him up, pack his bags, and strap him into my car.
As I drive, humidity fogs my car windows and I crank up the air. Yet, it's the front within me which blinds my peace and drowns the promises of my Savior.
The air I breathe does nothing to dissipate the fog within.