Looking back upon my youth, I can only recall one specific time that I ever uttered the words “I hate you” to someone else. Sadly, that someone else happened to be my own mother. I don’t recall the reason why I said it (though I’m sure it was a foolish one), but I do remember I was probably less than 8 years old. I guess you could chalk it up to the ignorance and idiocy of my youth as I didn’t quite understand nor recognize the sheer weight of those words, let alone their true meaning. My mother was quick to respond in kind with those very words as she left me in my state of anger. I don’t remember if I ever officially apologized for that incident, or if I told her I loved her afterwards, but I do remember the shame and remorse that I felt when I made the attempt to do so.
After watching the freak show that was the 2016 Presidential Election, I must say that I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so divisive and polarizing to such a large degree in my entire life. I couldn’t help but be amazed not only at the election results, but even more so at the aftermath. Simply watching the social media posts and news articles revealed to me quite the picture of the current state of America. The morning after the results, I saw argument after argument, accusations and blaming, quarreling and division between friends and family, boasting and mockery, bigotry and ignorance, helplessness and hopelessness. We truly are a divided nation.
I’ve recently (well, at the time of this draft, anyhow) had the pleasure of enjoying some time hanging out and catching up with some old friends. They’ve been my friends for a long time and even though we’re not as close as we used to be (which is an unfortunate reality of adulthood), I know I can count on them to be around if I were to need them.
As usual, we got into our old ways, exchanging that old familiar banter, joking around, and recalling old times. While we were going about what I would consider to be “routine” with them, I came to think about my testimony. Among the gathering was an old friend who was recently “born again” (and praise God for this). As some of my other friends brought up jokes which encroach on the broad or even toilet side of humor, I would join in the laughter and crack a few jokes in response here and there as I “normally” do. In that, I noticed that my new “brother” in Christ reacted quite differently than I. I think he was always a guy that didn’t really join the fray on that sort of humor, nor is he really a loud or outspoken person, but his actions there, especially for someone supposedly not too “old” in the faith, spoke volumes to me.
I don’t think there was any point of time in my life where I could attribute myself with “popularity” or “fame” or anything of that sort. I was too negligible to become well-known. I was far too shy and introverted to build up any sort of reputation among my circle of peers. That was pretty much the reality of my existence. Sure, other kids knew I had some degree of artistic ability, but that didn’t really put me on a pedestal or anything. I had the spotlight at times during my singing days, but I was just a placeholder, just another body on the stage. I didn’t quite carry the same weight as my cohorts did, who were all either more well-known or more attractive or more skilled at their craft. I was simply filling the part.
My parents took a trip out of town not too long ago, leaving the house in my “capable” hands for a week. Coincidentally, my ex decided to take the kids that very same week so I was pretty much alone in the house. It’s not often that I get a taste of the single not-quite-bachelor life. I don’t know if I’ll ever earn enough to be on my own when taking into account the situation with my kids, but I suppose I got to briefly experience how it would be. In the days prior to their departure, I wondered how it would be and how I would handle things. I pondered what I could do and what I should do. In looking back on my behavior, I found my actions to be somewhat interesting.
In my personal reading of the Bible, as I began exploring other translations, I started to notice the differences between them with regards to the capitalization of pronouns when referring to God (He, Him, His, etc). The first version I had when I started delving deeper in my studies was the New American Standard (NASB). I believe there are only two translations that utilize capitalization when referring to God, with the NASB being one of them. I read an interesting post by author Randy Alcorn about the matter that although it doesn’t necessarily follow the rules of English, it’s more about your convictions whether you do it or not. I personally capitalize pronouns related to God in my writing and my personal notes because it’s easier for me to tell who I’m referring to. There were several verses with multiple he’s that referred both to the generic man and God in the same verse or context. The capitalized form made it easier to distinguish between the two. It also grew on me the more I read it that way and I personally felt it honors Him more by doing so.