Several years ago, my friend, Phyllis over at phyllisophie put a post up on The Weirdness of Blogging. She talks about all of the great bloggers and feeling inadequate at times with her blogging. Why do it she asks. One reason to do it is you never know what will spark a person to remember a place where God touched him or her. She had no idea that her mentioning that she went to Rapid City, SD would bring back to memory a place God touched me when I was dealing with the pain of Ann's affair.
About 3 weeks after I learned of the affair, I stormed into the house after seminary. I walked into the kitchen, cussed my wife, threw my book bag against the wall, packed a bag and like any barely sane wracked with pain cuckhold began to drive to Mt. Rushmore. I had been reading a book on the letters of Thomas Jefferson you see.
So, I drove. I went about 500 miles the first day and found a room. I drove into Rapid City before noon the next morning. God showed up two different times in profound ways.
I decided to take a horse ride which was part of some tour of Black Hills lore. My guide's name was Skip. Skip and I didn't get very far before he asked what brought me there. I told him all about it. He hesitated a moment and then began to talk. He was a former pastor from outstate New York. His wife had left him for another man, divorced Skip, and Skip was asked to resign by the church board. I don't know what the odds were of running into a man like Skip, but I was tingling and hearing the Twilight Zone theme all through our ride.
We were two hurting brothers God brought together to help us find understanding and compassion in the midst of our stinging ache. We talked non-stop for an hour. It brings a smile to my face to remember Skip saying near the end of our ride, "I guess I ought to tell you about one thing that I am supposed to, that well there..."
The second time I was standing on a rock. A big rock that I found after driving over the pigtail bridges. I hurt so bad I couldn't put my mind elsewhere. As I stood on the rock with pain throbbing through my chest, all through me really, something prompted me to look up. I saw the glory of God's creation. There were waves of rolling hills with green, brilliant green, pine trees. Their beauty captured me.
I took a breath and said, "God I hurt so much." I took another breath and said, "God this is so beautiful." "I hurt so much. This is so beautiful." And on it went writhing alternating with joy. Pure worship. I took all of who I was at that moment and went to God. I didn't think of what was right or correct. I just was and was with God.
I detest the saying 'Check your world at the door' when I go to church. It seems to me that if you do that then it easy to check your Lord at the door on your way out. God wants all of each and every one of us. He wants our junk, our pettiness, our anger, our hurt, our laughs, our smiles, and our radiance. He wants to bring it all into His presence and to transform darkness into His Light. I ached, I beemed. He transformed, is transforming and will continue to transform all my mess and all my glory so He and I may be closer and so His kingdom may shine even brighter. So thanks Phyllis for having the courage to put your heart out there. And Mt. Rushmore is awesome.