There’s this pastor whose name I don’t know. He goes by “John.” I don’t know where he lives, either. All I know is that he’s an atheist now and he’s been writing about that secret on this website.
This week, he finally started coming out to some people close to him. Like his wife:
Her: [sheepishly] “What? What are you looking at?”
Me: “You, I want to look at you.”
Me: “Because… (tears)… because… I don’t want you to hate me. I don’t want you to resent me. I need you to like me. I NEED you. I’m so sorry. It’s not my fault. I didn’t do this on purpose, I didn’t decide to become an atheist. I don’t know how many times I got to say that, but I didn’t choose this. I don’t want this. I feel like, I wish I did something wrong. I wish I did something bad that deserved you being mad at me. But I haven’t done anything, and there is nothing wrong with me. But I’ve been alone for so long, I can’t bear to be alone anymore.”
Her: “I know you don’t want to hear this, but no John, I would not have married you. You aren’t the husband I need. You aren’t holding up to the promise you gave at our wedding. How are you supposed to lead me now? How are you supposed to be the spiritual head of our family? Our kids need you to be that. I can’t believe you’ve done this.”
Me: (sigh) “I understand you’re upset. And it’s not right for me to expect you not to feel the emotions you are feeling. No one should tell you how to feel. I too was angry for a long time. But… I… I can’t be here if you hate me. I think maybe I should leave. Let me call [local pastor friend] Kevin, and talk to him. I’ll see if he’ll hang out with me this afternoon. I’ll tell him what’s going on.”
Her: (crying) “That’s the thing John, you’ve got people to talk to. I’ve got no one to talk to. You can’t expect me to handle this without telling someone.”
The posts are tough to read… but fascinating. You may want to start here and work your way forward.
Good luck to John, wherever he is. Hopefully, he knows about the Clergy Project!
(Image via Shutterstock)