I want to give my readers an update for the sake of my own sanity if not to satisfy any curiosity. My Hiatus post may have caused concern and for that I apologize although I’ll reaffirm that I was then (and am now) sincere. I’m in a new and terrible situation and I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to write:
I’ve taken a job as a prison guard and over the past month have experienced things I could happily have gone my entire life without seeing. My first day, as a matter of fact, the prison experienced one of the worst inmate-on-guard attacks in years. Being new and unable to man a post alone, I had to respond to the emergency. I sprinted to the call and arrived in time to see a violent and bloody scene. The unrelenting savagery of the attack had all the hallmarks of demonic possession; there’s nothing like it even among the animals excepting maybe rabid wolves. I’m ashamed to say I froze. The officers gave me a pass because it was my first day, after all, and to my credit, I only paused for a few seconds. When I came to myself, I barreled through the throng of felons and did my best to keep them back. Five other officers had arrived before me and were spraying and hitting the inmate, who was on top of and savagely beating an older officer. The poor guard was nearing retirement and told me, just that morning, that he’d take me into the yard and show me the ropes. Instead, he went home in an ambulance to the jeers of the emboldened animals. I was side-swiped with mace by proxy and after the excitement returned to my block coughing and sputtering, which amused my charges to no end.
There’s so much more to tell but it’s against policy to relate publicly and I have to adjust to the new rules governing me. Suffice it to say, dear readers, God has placed me into a harsh environment among the worst sort of humanity and for weeks leading up to the move and (I’m sorry to say) for weeks after it, I was bitterly sore with Him. Only now, in hindsight and with the benefit of a lingering Christmas spirit as well as hope for the new year, am I able to piece together a divine pattern which lead to my current plight and I’m sure will culminate in some glory or other; soli deo gloria.
For starters, I began hitting the weights again. After a few month’s time, I’m well on the way to getting back into serious shape; by early spring I hope to be nearly where I was when I used to train back in my Navy days. During the Christmas holidays, I noticed the resurgence of health when I began sprinting again, chasing my little cousins around the yard. I used to love to run and tried to do 10 milers at least three times a week. I’ll be back to it before long.
Secondly, I’ve discovered a scenic overlook in my new town. Part of my bitterness was in having to leave such an aesthetically pleasing part of the south and move to a new place with no public parks (to speak of). I couldn’t even find a decent place to watch the sunset. For those who know me, watching the sunset over some scene or other is one of the few joys I have in life and even that was taken from me.
Today, though, I’ve discovered a new place. It’s out of the way of towns and must only be known to locals. And to get to the river requires a walk down a short but steep path; that probably keeps even more people away. So the spot’s generally abandoned and quiet. The river (I wont say which) flows beautifully along the path and crosses under a distant highway bridge. There, I can go and smoke, or think, or read poetry, or pray. I do most of my praying at these places.
But most importantly of all is what has happened (and is happening) to my spiritual life. I’m daydreaming again. I’m seeing visions again and stories are popping into my mind. I’m praying again. My religion continues advancing and I now happily describe myself as a “Christian Romantic” although I know that term will confuse most people. Am I even still a self-professed Presbyterian? I never joined that church and the more of that sort I met, the fewer I liked. I’ve been unable to read philosophy for some time, preferring instead the old adventure novels I used to read in highschool…Louis L’Amour, Bram Stoker, Burroughs, et al. It seems the worse my plight the more grounded my thoughts. I’m shifting into a different sort of religious state, one with little reflection and theorizing, but actively lived. I hope this means I’m entering into the realm of the heroic and that my faith will be like the faith of so many Christian men of action I’ve read about. A Knight. It’s not a doctrine or abstract concept, but a heart feeling. “Christian Romantic” fits this, I hope, and will have to do until I find a better label.
For now, I still plan to attend a local Presbyterian church. I know it’ll cause me nothing but problems down the road, especially if I get on well with the congregants, but I’m willing to try on the off chance I might find a wife there. The poor girl (if she exists) doesn’t know what she’s getting into. The best I can hope for is one who loves God but isn’t pious and doesn’t take Presbyterian rituals too seriously. My luck (and this has happened before), the well-meaning ushers will, with a wink and nod to their fellows, sit me next to a young filipino or african woman. Hardy har har…(if that happens, readers, I’ll tell you all about it and what happens, in humorous detail).
So while I can’t enjoy the normal New Year’s festivities this evening (I have to get up insanely early to keep my prison schedule), I do go to bed (and thus leave you all) with the hope that my future, and this blog in particular, is headed for deep waters in 2016. Deep and uncharted, but wilder than I ever thought possible. That’s where God always takes us in the end – those of us with wild hearts…