I’m in a pretty foul mood today. So is Jennifer.
Jen has asthma. We’ve always controlled her environment well — kept is clean, relatively free of dust, no animals, air conditioning when we can. It’s worked pretty well for the last 20 years, and Jen hasn’t had a serious asthma attack in a long, long time.
When I left Energy Intelligence in 2006, I lost employer-paid health insurance. (I have not had it since then.) The seminary required me to have insurance for myself, but we couldn’t afford anything for Jennifer. So, we found a couple of pharmacies located outside the United States where we could get her long-term asthma meds without a prescription. We had to pay full cost — a single Serevent inhaler would typically cost around $30 — but it was worth it.
And it was something we could do. Until recently.
I’ve been out of work, and utterly unable to find anything, for the last year and a half. (No one will even call me back, much less hire me.) It’s been three years if we count graduation from seminary, though I’ve had a couple of part-time jobs — at a church in northern Illinois, at a pizza place in Chicago — in 2012 and 2013 to help get us through.
My father has helped us financially. As have some friends, and a few very kind strangers.
Well, we have run out of money. We lost our place to live at the beginning of May — a place we had solely because of the kindness of others, as we couldn’t afford it.
So, to get Jen’s asthma meds, we had to find a free clinic here. And we did.
And to get her asthma medicine itself, we had to go to the local St. Vincent de Paul Society’s pharmacy. Which is where we were this morning. Along with the people in line to get fans.
I don’t know what to say about any of this. Everyone was kind and incredibly compassionate, truly. I think we nearly brought the young lady who handled our “intake” to tears, especially after I showed her my book (because she wanted to know what our situation was). I’m angry, but not about how we’ve been treated.
I’m just … I don’t know.
Don’t tell me God loves me. I don’t want to hear it. That’s a curse, not a blessing. This is not trying or testing my faith in God — Jesus grabbed me long ago and simply won’t let go. But it’s because God loves me, because I heeded the damned call to follow, that we are here — unemployed and destitute. Subsisting off the kindness of strangers. We would not be alive without that kindness. But I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of needing it.
As Jennifer said, “How low does God have to drag us?”
So, I’m tired of God. I want God to go away. No, I want to go back those nearly 14 years and have God not speak to me. Because without God in my life, very likely, I would have gone to work doing risk analysis for an investment bank or a commodities trading firm and I’d have all the things I don’t have right now — a car that doesn’t struggling going up hills (or threaten to overheat if it sits too long at a red light), a home of my own, health care I don’t have to beg for, and the ability to care properly for my wife. I might even have something resembling a career.
Because right now, I’d trade Jesus for all that. Really. Where’s Satan, so I can sell my soul for some measure of material comfort and gainful employment? I’m willing. Right now. Hand me a contract, and I will sign it. My soul is doing me no good anyway.
What, no devil? Yeah, I thought not. Not even he cares about my soul.
I really want to lie down and die right now. I see no point to continuing. I see no point at all.