by compound complex 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    He walked right past me, looking straight ahead.

    Years before, Hal and I walked the same path, the best of pals. Laughing and joking while endeavoring to maintain some level of decorum during our serious work of being a theatrical spectacle to men and angels. That really does sound a bit off. Well, we were both hams and took well to the stage when portraying some Bible character of yore. Hal truly brought the house down when playing Samson. Many a gal in the audience -- teenager, pioneer, elder's wife -- secretly yearned to play his Delilah. Some not so secretly.

    Yes, so many years before. We guys went our separate ways but did manage to stay in touch. Not so much, though, as the years wore on . . . and on. Despite his "imperfections," the sort that required him to appear numerous times before a church tribunal, Hal had a way with tears and tugging at the heart strings of even the most dour and impassive elder. Oh, he wasn't totally disingenuous; just a little. Hal was giving and loving and genuine. His scarlet sins were always washed clean by his judges. Even, to some extent, by not a few betrayed husbands. Word of Hal's occasional diversions, his straying from the Highway of Holiness somehow made their way to me. Nevertheless, he was always my best pal.

    On the other hand, I seemed disinclined towards pursuing matters of the flesh. Pretty much an introvert and never a matinee idol type like Hal, I sought my own level and kept my nose clean. Books, however, were my downfall. Learning. Exploring new ideas. Sharing those thoughts. Strangely, my friends and family shut me down and said I was being disloyal to our Creator. He knew what was best for us. His appointed leaders would interpret his Word for us and that's all we should need. Deliberately wandering outside safe, church-ordained guidelines to so-called intellectual freedom was a snare, a death trap.

    It seems I put the inescapable conclusions I had drawn ahead of church wisdom and directives. Those same loving elders who had forgiven Hal and tried his tears so many times showed me no mercy. Maybe I should have cried.

    As the church grapevine tends to do, it grew and flourished under the hot sun of judgmental human scrutiny. The fruit, under such perverse growing conditions, was bitter to my taste. I was forced to eat the grapes that set my teeth on edge. Although we hadn't seen each other in years, Hal must have gotten word . . .

    I never left my hometown, but I was all alone. Friends and family refused all contact with me. If I hadn't made friends outside the church over my years in business, I would have been totally bereft of all human connection. Coming out of my morning haunt, the Pine Cone Cafe, where I catch up with the locals on what's happening, I began walking up Broad Street and noted the familiar gait of someone I had known. The face was familiar although lined and crowned by graying wisps of hair. It was Hal. No doubt.

    He walked right past me, looking straight ahead.

  • Gulf Coaster
    Gulf Coaster

    You write beautifully. The last two paragraphs made me a bit teary, because I've been there. Especially that last paragraph. Boy, does that cut right through your heart when that happens. Just a simple action that, walking right by you, ignoring you ... it's a powerful weapon to wield at someone. I will never forget the first time that happened to me, in 1980.

  • ToesUp

    That is sad. So sorry you were treated this way. Who does this to other people? For sure, not a Christian.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thank you, Gulf Coaster and ToesUp, for your replies. They're much appreciated.

    The above is a composite tale of what many of us -- you, too, GC -- have dealt with. You know, getting shunned for some silly infraction of Society rules and regulations yet another committing a moral wrong and getting by with it.

    A whole jumble of ideas hit me as I put "pen to paper." Some JWs don't go by the rules and treat you decently, as a Christian should. In this case, "Hal" is weak morally but a follower of Church directives.



  • stuckinarut2

    Well written and expressed!

    Yes, as we have all found out, the "sin" of learning facts about "the truth" is a far greater "sin" than immorality!.

    Seriously, the society will forgive immorality but will not forgive someone who finds out TTATT!


    Because if someone still submits to the interrogation of a JC for immorality and prostrates themselves at the feet of "holy appointed men", then they are still under the control of the society...and control is what it is all about. Guilt and control.

    But, one who learns TTATT does not allow themselves to be controlled by the society anymore.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Likewise, stuckinarut2: well written and expressed!

    You summarized in a couple sentences what our similar experiences are all about. You hit the nail on the head: CONTROL! I had never quite thought this out in the manner you have so clearly put it.

    I certainly feel no guilt about separating myself from falsehood; of course, the sadness of losing kith and kin takes its emotional toll.

    Thank you very much!


  • LV101

    Your amazing touch of the pen was a different outcome than what I'd expected, CoCo. I'm so sorry your ole friend acted so foolish but it's certainly his loss not having you in his life.

    Yes, stuckinarut2 summed it up perfectly. WOW - what a pathetic cult and at least they know a leopard can't change his spots. Just apply the empathy rule to the ole philanderer. Sounds like he's in the right, immoral, club since he clearly lacks integrity.

  • Gwydion

    Church tribunal? Doesn't sound like any JW lingo I can remember. Maybe they changed the lingo over the years


    This is indeed a lovely piece of writing!

    Just so true ...but I know the feeling too.

    Thanks CC

    I am going to search out your previous contributions on this forum - Do you have any other places where you put pen to paper ? Blog? Published works?

  • smiddy

    You do have a way with words CC , thanks for that

    I had a similar experience that I related some time ago on this board.very sad.

    But as I said then , it`s not your loss but their loss in having a genuine friend.

    However you have many good friends here on this board that appreciate your posts.

    Take care


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