Sometimes you must come to the end before reaching the beginning
He was alone. Last year, he wouldn’t have guessed that things would turn out as they had. And here it was again, the holidays. The calendar told him it was 2012 and his life had dramatically changed.
The change went much deeper than a turn in the seasons or aging another year. It went under his skin and pervaded soul.
Life was like that, he thought. Everything could be stripped away in the blink of an eye. Yet everything could be restored. Things change.
He knew that now as he remembered his wife handing him the ticket.
For Michael, his life had hit bottom. His relationship with a colleague at work had violated his relationship with Michelle, his wife. He had destroyed his personal and professional boundaries. He knew it was wrong and things went from bad to worse. Had he been in any other career than clergy, he might have have been able to work it out.
The denominational officials thoroughly investigated and found no predatory behavior on his part. Just a brief and stupid consensual interoffice affair. Michael took full responsibility for what he did, resigning from the church and the denomination.
The Bishop, however, wanted to make him and his behavior an example and prepared to bring the whole matter to a public ecclesiastical trial. To save Michelle from further public humiliation, Michael defrocked himself from the ministry.
It also didn’t help that the denomination fired the Bishop. Somehow there must have been clerical consensus that though clergy screw up, they should be able to ind the redemption they proclaim from the pulpits. But now two clergy were unemployed.
Some fitting career ending for the owner of a Doctorate of Ministry degree who had once gone on a book signing tour with his new work on the equality of women and men. Michael even had to quit his adjunct lecturer position at the university. No more feminist lectures there. “You want fries with that?” Michael was guessing to be included in his next…