Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Last Line of Defense

As I wrapped up my last Bible Study for the morning, a very good and interesting study on Timothy 4, I sighed with relief and stopped the tape. After my 4 hours of study and school I was ready to take a break, and perhaps take a hike in the newly laid snow that I hadn't seen much of in the recent days. It was a shame not to go out and at least take a few good pictures when we so rarely got a good fall, I noted as I glanced out the window. Just looking out at it hurt my eyes, the bright clarity of it making my dark little sanctuary of a room seem a dim and dull comparison.
With a smile I wrapped up I put on and finished one more song from my half-a-computer-somewhat-music-player device that sat haphazardly on the edge of my desk, and strode out of the room, grabbing my coat and heading for the door. So far, so good, the week had started well. I had gotten a great deal done, started a very promising web project, and was feeling in a fairly good mood.
I got about as far as the kitchen, where my Mother was sitting at the computer going over her list of various lady's blogs, before I sensed something was wrong. When I saw her face, and felt the atmosphere in our home, it felt...different. There was some level of tension, and I didn't like it. My Mother was never one for being very optimistic about much of anything, but...there was an expression on her face that told me immediately something was wrong. My sister had hidden herself away in her room, which was nothing unusual, and as for Dad, I wasn't sure...outside in his shop, probably. I idly recalled he had been expecting some kind of call.
I stopped, watched for a moment, and then slowly strode over to the desk, eyebrow raised.
"...Is something wrong?" I asked slowly. I freely admit I was never much for beating around the bush, at least, not when something felt wrong.
The reply I got was something I had been dimly fearing in the back of my mind for a long time, but it felt all the more wretched to hear her say it.
"Dad lost the job today."

The rest of that conversation was rather brief, but honestly, it wasn't that which bothered me nearly as much. The job itself didn't overly worry me...or rather, a little bit, I informed myself it didn't need to worry me. I stepped outside and started working my way through the snow, intending to disappear into the back woods for a little bit and take pictures of what I could find. Even from this distance, sometimes I could see the sloping ridges of the western mountains from my home, topped with silvery snow.
It's not a major concern. God provides for all His children! I told myself. You're worrying over nothing! Didn't He say He takes care over the very sparrows? And how many sparrows do you figure your family is worth?
I honestly wasn't bothered too much...until I went back inside.
The atmosphere had darkened considerably. Mom was obviously now worrying, and perhaps a little angry...we HAD been waiting a long time for that job to come through, and it HAD been out last visible lifeline...things were going to look very bleak indeed if something didn't happen in a few weeks. When Dad came in though, looking very tired, very weary, and torn between worry and pent up anger, I realized that the financial side of this deal wasn't the worst. When your family is hanging on nearly nothing, it gets worse than that.
I knew how my Dad felt, and I knew it was a painful way to feel. For any decent man, the feeling that there is literally nothing you can do, you have no means of providing for your family, and its going to come to head very soon...just the fact that you can't do a thing to provide is a KILLING feeling. I sympathize with anyone who's been there. It may be I particularly feel it harder than most, I know, since I am such a fanatic for honor and chivalry, but for a man in particular, its not only painful, its humiliating, agonizing, and borders on failure. Not a failure in itself, but a feeling of it.
But even still, I wasn't too worried then. God will provide, I told myself, and I knew I was right. But it wasn't until later that night, when he tried to cheerfully mention that the job rate was much higher in the Dakotas, that the full realization of what he might be planning dawned on me. My Dad was considering moving out of state indefinitely to find work...which he sorely needed, I knew. It was true enough, at least, from what I heard, that in those areas, and other places it was better...and North Carolina was certainly one of the worst hit by the wretched disease of depression. But this wasn't what I had considered. This could alter a LOT of things...financial worries would be the least of our problems! I told him I would do something I was good at, a little internet sluthing, to dig up what information I could on where work was available...a task I carried out grimly.
Ach, blast it, I feel so wretchedly...USELESS! There's nothing I can do either! God will provide, I know it, but we need so much, I CAN work (I don't work enough, no doubt), and there was nothing I could do either...I felt like a wretch all night. I should be able to help somehow! For crying out loud, families had done it long before...but I considered all my options, over, and over, and over again...there was nothing I could do either. I began to understand more thoroughly the chilling, cold feeling there is to having to wait helplessly for help. It's a cruel place for any family to be.
Perhaps I may sound as though I'm exaggerating, or going insane over something rather minor...after all, these things always come out alright, right? But this...this was honestly our last lifeline. The last one. I'm not afraid of the money problems, for crying out loud, that's hardly an issue. What is an issue is that my family will feel it, for a while, at least. And worse. We shall see, I suppose. All the same...a curse on it, I feel useless, worthless, and it burns coldly to know that there's no way to help, nothing I could do, even though it should be ME who's out there working instead of my father.
This will be our last line of defense...but God WILL come through. Tough weeks are ahead, I fear, however. Don't mind my ranting...I suppose I just had to get that out of my system.


  1. Been there. Still there, a little bit. Just watch and pray, Amaras. When you have no defense left, there is no way it can be anything but God's hand that helps.

  2. ditto what Jeth said... and we're praying for you all, Alex.
    Psalm 121

  3. Wow Alex... I'll be praying for you. You all will pull through, there's no doubt about it.
    James 1


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