I’m going to try and relate to you what may have been the worst Thanksgiving I’ve ever had. However, there will be a silver lining to this story. Eventually. It was a pretty rough day.
I got out of bed — and by got out of bed, I oozed out of it more than anything else, a succumbing to having tossed and turned the prior hour. I was not looking forward to beginning this day. I only recently stopped absolutely dreading this day.
There is terrible irony in the fact that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Not this year. Not with everything going on. Not with where I found myself this Thanksgiving. That was a loss. Aside over.
Going through my usual routine, I sat down — I tried to sit down —to “quiet time” to continue my painful slog through Revelation. Let me tell you, Revelation is a terrible book of the Bible to be reading through when you have beef with God.
I will not fully go into the depth of where my relationship with God has been this past week, but my journal has looked a bit like London after the blitzkrieg with all the f-bombs I’ve dropped these last few days. Yeah, I’ve been pissed. Don’t worry, we’re getting to the first silver lining. Just not right now.
After that struggle, I decided I was going to take care of something easy: replacing the headlights on the car as one of them had recently gone out. Well, multiple layers of skin from some knuckles, a few rinsings, and way more blood than one should ever let, the headlights were replaced and everything else — the battery had to be removed to replace the driver’s side headlight, and don’t even get me started on that point — had been returned to its rightful place. I swear, it doesn’t matter the task, when I am finished there will be a bloody knuckle or two or three.
Returning inside from my bloody engagement, I decided I needed to get some reading in. Friend, here is some silver lining. You’re welcome. I’ve been burning through Kill the Spider by Carlos Whittaker. I don’t want to put this book down. As I was reading about Carlos — we’re now on a first name basis, he just doesn’t know it yet — waging spiritual warfare, I broke down in tears for the third time or so (while reading). I realized that the struggle I was going through with God was a spiritual battle.
God has felt distant recently, as if I’ve been abandoned. Carlos — I’m loving this first name thing — wrote about believing this lie himself. It wasn’t hard to make a connection. Maybe Jesus was talking to me right then and there. I lost it. I hadn’t, haven’t, been abandoned. That is a lie. God has been right with me, in me, all around me, all this time. I did what any strong, tough man would do: I collapsed — not immediately — onto the floor, prostrate, and prayed in tears. I prayed for repentance. I prayed truth. I prayed for restoration and resurrection. I prayed for love. Jesus and I are friends again. There was a lot of praying the rest of the day.
I was supposed to pick up my dad at the airport around 3:30 in the afternoon, so I bode the rest of my time and headed off to the airport after checking the flight progress before running out the door.
He had arrived a few minutes before I got to the airport, but I drove to arrival door seven as I had been told. No dad. No one that even looked remotely like my dad. After a couple more phone calls, my dad informed me that I’d driven to the wrong airport. I drove to the wrong airport?! How does one even do that?! I told you it was the worst Thanksgiving I can remember. Eventually, we connected. He took a cab and we met at his office.
I can’t tell you how mortifying it still is to relate this little vignette to you. Mortifying. Cue cursing. Tears. And apparently fifteen minutes of trying to get out of the parking lot. No. I’m not going to explain that part.
We got to my dad’s house and began to prepare dinner. Conversation started flowing as we both started to relax. Friend, here we have what I believe to be the true silver lining of the day. We somehow started talking about some of the events and decisions surrounding my parents’ divorce. This is in no way normal conversation, certainly not on Thanksgiving of all days. The vulnerability on both sides was mind-blowing. I know I woke up with a vulnerability hangover this morning.
In the midst of all the openness, love, compassion, my dad expressed one of the dearest gifts I’ve ever received. Ever. He told me he felt understood. Finally. You may not realize the tremendous emotional turmoil this relationship has witnessed in the past. The moment my dad uttered those words, I nearly broke down in tears instantly. This was a kind of resurrection. This moment was proof in and of itself to me that Jesus is intimately immanent. Holy shit.
The rest of the day was inconsequential — before and after. Thanksgiving for the win. You’re my favorite again. I’m sorry I doubted you. And you too, Thanksgiving.