Who do men say that I am?
Forgive me, atheists. I love to quote Scripture. Judeo-Christian scripture is my personal favorite, and I am permitted my individual tastes. Generally speaking, I find that the older I get, each situation that presents itself has at least one Bible verse that pertains to it. Likewise, forgive me, Christians: I am permitted my own interpretation of the Bible as the Spirit moves me, as are you.
I have been a Blogger since April 30 of this year. Because there are people who have read my work I feel a demand to produce each day, though for the past several days I have not published. So am I really a blogger? Who do my readers think I am? My heart is cut deeply today as it has been repeatedly in times past, but my silence helps no one.
This is a post I wanted to write on Memorial Day, the day Americans are supposed to pay tribute to the fallen soldier. Fallen can mean many things. Fallen from grace into sin.
On Memorial Day, we are to honor the dead, those taken from us while performing honorable service to their country. Those who went to war to preserve our right to peace.
Mandy’s father is not a fallen soldier. He is Mormon, but he has not “fallen from grace” according to the Divorce Decree as it stands, because he had an attorney when we got divorced and I could not afford one, so I was advised by JAG. He is an Arabic linguist and presumably comprehends the word “infidel” but he has never been counseled by a member of his church on the Mormon scripture in D&C 83:2, or even 1 Timothy 5:8. The second verse can be found in the New Testament of any version of the Holy Bible and is available throughout Christendom. No attempt at enforcement is made by 1) church officials, 2) his parents, endowed Temple workers, who will not counsel him to support his child, or 3) his employer, the U.S. Army.
My daughter and I are at war every day. We struggle with bills. We have been through foreclosure. I fight to apportion my time, my substance, and my demeanor so I can give her the guidance and the healthy supportive environment she deserves. We have “lost” her father to military service. But let me be clear: he is not dead, he is only dead to us. Except when he wants to visit his daughter and buy her toys. He does not pay child support, and his commanding officers continue to guard his whereabouts or send him overseas when he requests an assignment to a war zone.
Though Mandy’s father has spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has never seen combat. His signing bonuses all go straight into his bank account, and then he buys extravagant gifts for his friends’ weddings and plays World Of Warcraft and has gaming pizza parties. But he cannot be persuaded to pay child support, and his employer, the U.S. Army, has made him unavailable to be served for a court appearance this past 45 months.
Memorial Day is a tough one for Mandy and me. How can we honor the fallen, when Mandy’s dad would rather risk his life in a war zone than show up at court for a determination of child support? When he would rather lose an arm and a leg than pay an arm and a leg?
Why did I choose to post today? Because the law firm I retained a year and a half ago has once again failed to serve Mandy’s dad. We know where he stays at night, but the process server refuses to serve him at the address I have at a time when he will be there. And he will only be there for one more week before he returns overseas. He calls every night to have a phone visit with his daughter, and I hand her the phone wondering what the eventual cost will be to her. Will she pick a decent man who supports her, or a loser like her dad? How long will he get away with this and what is it teaching his 8 year old child?
God, I hope somebody comments on this post. Let me know you’re out there.