Dear Little Evan, #7

Dear Little Evan,

As I write you this letter I am terribly hungover. Two days after a binge of escapism the headache and vomiting are gone, but the emotional after-effects are charging head-on. I've scarcely stopped crying today, even in church, during worship, prayer, the sermon and absolution, I couldn't keep my tears at bay. Today is my wife's birthday, and I suspect she was with another man this morning when I called. No response. Not even a, "can I call you back later?" It hurts me, Little Evan, but I don't hate her. Nothing could be further from the truth.


The truth is, I'm mourning for her, for the pain she must be in and the road she's put herself on. I'm mourning for the shame she is bound to feel and the unhealthy, self-destructive way she's self-medicating the pain. Forgiveness isn't the same as trust, Little Evan, forgiveness can be given, trust must be earned. I want to tell you that the way other people treat you has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. You can't change other people, you can only change yourself. I'm not bitter and I still pray for her, that God would have mercy on her. Because it's the people we love most that hurt us the most. Have the courage and audacity to love them still, even when they hurt you. Pray for those who wrong you and love those who hate you. Let God work out the details from there.


That pain is why I drank so much Friday night, to make the pain of abandonment, betrayal and infidelity go away, if only for an evening. But that's not how it works, Little Evan, Big Evan should know better by now, and yet he struggles still. We cannot outrun all the pain of all our todays and yesterdays, whenever we try we only succeed in robbing all our tomorrows of joy. You become an addict, Little Evan, this does not make you less of a man! You have worth! You have value! You are beautiful! You are not irredeemable! You are not a lost cause! And you are not alone!


I cannot undo or change the years of self-inflicted pain I will cause you to suffer through. I cannot unrunaway from all our darkest fears, or unself-medicate all those thousands of desperate times. But I can promise you this, Little Evan, our story isn't over yet. I promise as I'm writing this letter, I'm finally getting the help that we so desperately need; and I'm doing it for you, Little Evan, because you deserve a future of redemption. You deserve to find solace on the otherside of sorrow. God will redeem our story and reclaim every year the locust has consumed. Have a little faith, Little Evan, Jesus will bring healing to our brokenness. The healing has only just begun.


From me to you,


Big Evan


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Starward's picture

I am astounded with amazement

I am astounded with amazement at how this essay dovetails into your poem, and into the Romanov material, and into my Orthodox Faith in general.  The gut-wrenching agony of experiencing this, and then writing about it, will be rewarded with joy in God's timing.  I am even more convinced that you are writing out of a spiritual vocation---you are ministering to readers you do not know, and likely will never meet except in cyberspace, and I firmly believe you will be blessed for your effort; bread cast on the waters, as Solomon once said.

Enjoy effulgent days, and exquisite nights,

unto the exultations of Heaven.