Getting Happy... when you wish you were dead

Day 88 – Wednesday, 6 Feb

"Dear Conrad,

"I spoke with Maria regarding Wednesday night bible study. She would like to attend bible study on Wednesday's but has determined at this time it is not healthy to attend if you are attending. So, she will come tonight, but if you are already there she will leave and she is ok with doing this.

"As we talked last week, I have been praying about this situation and thought a solution was at hand because of PADS transportation being provided at 6:00 PM. But now someone has recently been asked by you to provide a ride to First Christian following tonight's study.

"Please pray for God's direction regarding Wednesday night study. As your Pastor, I am blessed when anyone desires to read and study God's Word so I hope you can appreciate the conflicting position this place me. I have expressed to you the full picture regarding the longevity of attendance and strained relationship between you and Maria. I understand both positions and each of your actions. Maria has worked through this from the stand point if you are there, she will leave.

"What are thoughts?

"Pastor Stan Pear, Lead Pastor, Living Water Church of the Nazarene."

This e-mail arrived at 12:19 pm today. It's fair to say I found it upsetting. That might even be a wee bit of an understatement.

The person asked to provide a ride was Ben Fields. The same person who provided a ride for the last two weeks, and who invited me to keep attending the study.

As you might imagine, my reply to Stan was to accede to his request. I chose to stop attending the bible study, and to stop attending Stan's church. It was a little hard to accept someone as "your Pastor" while he was also clearly siding against you. It was even harder to let go of the support of a congregation when I was homeless, had no family, and it meant losing Ben Fields' support for the book project.

Ben was part of the leadership for the congregation. It seemed unreasonable to ask him for continued help and support when his pastor was taking support away. So I never pushed him or even tried to stay in touch.

Losing a relationship always hurts, even when the relationship is toxic. But the only good thing to do with a toxic relationship is end it.

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