A Friend’s Fall from Grace

a friend's fall from graceLast night, Linda and I were out at a baseball game and ran into a friend who we haven’t seen in quite a while – maybe 2 or 3 years. We talked for awhile and both of us left the conversation with our jaws hanging.

Here’s the story…

Our sons played summer travel baseball together back during high school and as a result,  “Mike” and I coached together for about 3 or 4 years. That was about the extent of our relationship, as once the season was over we would rarely speak to or see each other until the following spring when baseball started up again.

Mike was a solid family guy in his early fifties. He owned a very successful business, had a nice looking wife and three good looking kids. He donated a bunch of his time and money to his community and to the local high school baseball program. A deacon at church, he was a devout Christian who never missed a Sunday service – even if we had a baseball game.

Generally speaking, Mike was a great guy and a pillar of his somewhat smallish community. He still is for all I know.

A great guy, but…

One thing that always rubbed me the wrong way about him though, was that he had the habit of ‘preaching’ his Christian views and would often voice his disdain for people who used foul language, drank alcohol, didn’t go to church, lived together out of wedlock, etc. I always felt he was a little self-righteous.

Now, I have no problem with people who practice any kind of faith along with their views and opinions. Whatever it is they believe in is just fine with me but I don’t necessarily want or need to hear about it – especially on a baseball diamond. It goes the same for politics. If your goal is for me to tune you out then all you have to do is start talking religion or politics, and you’ll soon see me with a blank stare and my eyes glazed over.

So anyways…

As Mike was walking to his seat, Linda and I noticed he was with a woman (not his wife) and two teenage girls (not his daughters) walking down the aisle towards their seats. He had obviously dropped a ton of weight, his hair was styled and he was dressed nice for a baseball game. He noticed us as well and stopped to say hello, so we chatted for a few minutes.

Shortly into the conversation we had mentioned that while driving around one day a few months back, Linda and I had noticed him walking along a street in a neighborhood near the school where Linda teaches. (It’s a lower income neighborhood and we found it quite strange at the time to see him walking around the area because it was about 15 miles from where he lived.)

He replied to us that he now lives in that neighborhood with his son and that he had divorced from his wife a couple years ago and was at the game with his fiancé and her two daughters. We finished the conversation with a little more catching up and then he went on down to his seat a few rows in front of us. All I could say to Linda was “Holyyyy crap!”  We were stunned to say the least.

I quickly pulled my cell phone out and shot my good friend and assistant coach a quick text letting him know the news I had just discovered. Surely he would be as surprised as I was. His reply…

“That’s old news. His wife left him a few years ago after she caught him f*%king his secretary.”

“Thanks for telling me!” I replied. “Obviously Jeanie (his ex-wife) took him to the cleaners!”

We were shocked…

I was shocked. Linda was shocked. But after a few minutes we both admitted that we really weren’t all that surprised by the news. Infidelity can strike anywhere and anybody – even those who profess to be morally superior to the rest of us and preach about the evils of adultery and other sins. Remember the likes of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker, or more recently, Bob Coy?

And it’s not just the TV preachers that are guilty of this hypocrisy. It’s the local pastor, the Bible-toting mother of five who lives down the street as well as people from all walks of life, professions, color or creed.

As I write this, it’s the morning after our chance meeting and the shock has worn off. I’m not sure how I really feel about Mike’s apparent fall from grace. He’s still a nice, generous, successful man. I still consider him a friend – not a close friend, but a friend nevertheless. It’s just something about his past “preaching” and the revelation about his infidelity rubs me the wrong way…

 

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21 Responses to A Friend’s Fall from Grace

  1. gizfield August 11, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Doug, it is truly uncanny how some of your posts relate to things I am researching. I am not crazy, but I do have a few unconventional views at times, lol.

    Anyway, back when my first husband died fifteen years ago I went through some changes that I didn’t really understand. Drank a lot, became a shopoholic, and a “hoarder” I guess, cause I literally couldn’t get rid of his stuff. I always liked to shop but this was out of control. It was also like his stuff had control over me. Yes, it’s weird I know. Anyway, I asked my brother, the religious nut about this, and he turned me on to the concept of “soul ties”. Basically, through various means, you and another person, pet item, etc. form a spiritual bond that is difficult to break. It becomes kind of a spiritual superhighway, and can also be used by other spirits.

    The last week or so, this area of thought came back into my head and I stumbled into researching “demons” which are just Fallen Angels. They are classified as “”spirits” and there is specifically one known as the spirit of Jezebel. I thought it was crazy but after reading I realized this ” thing” is everywhere. It is especially prevalent in church settings because it can do so much damage there. Cause division, confuse new believers, set bad examples. And cause others to see all church members in a negative light. Demons can’t really control you but they exert influence and pressure on you. I had a boss who I thought wasn’t quite right, and the description was her EXACTLY. I know it’s a lot to take in, but I seriously think there is something to this. The only way to know “true Christians” is by their “fruits” which don’t include being excessively judgemental or committing adultery. So I would watch my back around the friend you are speaking of. And, truly, I am not insane and I’m not not to convince anyone, just offering my thoughts, lol.

    • Doug August 11, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Giz, I was seriously wondering where you were going with that after the first paragraph.LOL. I agree with your last two sentences 100%. I know a lot of people who preach a good game, but when it comes down to actually practicing what they preach, they fail miserably.

      We had a neighbor who lived across the street from us several years ago and was a self-professed born again Christian. He was always at church and talking about Jesus and God and at one point was always trying to get us to attend their church. I used to coach his son in baseball and he once told his son (with my son present) that I was going to hell because I drink beer. Well, guess who just got arrested for a DUI? Looks like he and I are gonna eventually be drinking a few cold ones down in hell together!

  2. Gizfield August 11, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    I’m not surprised, Doug, that you were a little confused. I’d just woke up, and wasn’t real coherent, lol. My basic point was about the fact that there are people who profess to be Christians but are actually what are called “counterfeits.” They use church and religion to further their own goals, not God’ s.
    The otherpart was my personal experience about mj first husband. He was pretty evil, and I think there were some demons hanging around him, and my house, lol. He was addicted to alcohol, pornography, sex, who knows what else. He abused me all kinda ways, separated me from friends, family, church, etc, and after he died it seemed like it got even worse, if you can believe that. One of his favorite things was to tell me that her did not want me to find happiness if he died, and that he would “haunt” me. Honest injun. It’s sad anyone is like that, but he was. I think the more accepted terms are Sociopaths or Psychopaths. And after my current husband lived in my house, he started acting just like him, even though he never had before. He even developed heart disease. Which is what killed first H. My late husband almost got his wish. Satan.s favorite target is families, and he nearly got me and mine. I kid you not.

    One day a couple of years ago, I was dealing with husband and his gf. I thought I can’t treat him like my enemy, and reconcile at the same time . So I thought, is the girlfriend the enemy?. That didn’t seem right either. She just seemed like a symptom, not a cause. I then realized the real enemy was Satan, which actually changed my entire thought process. Actually even felt a little sorry for Gf. Anyway, like I said, not trying to convert anyone, just sharing my thoughts and experience.

  3. Gizfield August 11, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Oh, I’m not a counterfeit, by the way, just a flawed and confused individual, lol. You do know why you dont take ONE Baptist fishing, right? Cause he will drink all your beer. Lol if there are several they will be on their best behavior. Yes, I’m Baptist, and do drink occasionallywhich I’m not supposed to. But I do. Like I said, flawed. My personal favorite demon.

  4. forcryin'outloud August 11, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Doug I’m ROFL with your last comment. If beer drinking is a prerequisite for entry to hell I’m going to the depths of it not to mention my cursing.

    My H’s “affair assistant” mother’s house is littered with angels – they are on the walls, in curio cabinets, on plates, on pillows, on blankets, on pins she wears, sweatshirts, keychains…they are EVERYWHERE! Along with that creepiness her FB page is post after post after post of all things based on her disturbing view of God and motherhood. She preaches and condemns from her keyboard. The most disturbing part is she practices very little of the good stuff and much of the negative stuff. Much like what Doug is lamenting about. I can only imagine what she thinks I’m going to hell for – probably first for robbing her of her son.

    • Doug August 11, 2014 at 10:57 am #

      Hey FCOL, I’ll save a seat for you at the bar!

      • forcryin'outloud August 11, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

        I think it may be one big damn bar. 🙂

  5. Gizfield August 11, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Save me a seat, guess I’ll be there too.

  6. Paula August 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Jesus cheaters are the worst. You always know someone has “issues” if they are overly preachy. Usually their own insecurities, using god to plaster over reality.

  7. tryinghard August 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Thank God I only drink wine so I won’t be in hell with all you beer drinkers!!!!

    I used to love Martinis too, but one lead to two, two lead to three, and three lead to the floor!

    • tryinghard August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

      Me and Jesus have that in common, we both like wine!

    • Doug August 12, 2014 at 10:32 am #

      Man, we were just at a Catholic church festival Saturday night and I’m pretty sure they were selling beer. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had a few of them, but since it was at a church event, does that mean it’s OK? Am I not going to hell now, or are about 10,000 additional people joining us in the netherworld?

  8. Strengthrequired August 11, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    Thanks for the laugh everyone.
    Th, I don’t drink beer either, don’t like it. Wine very rare, but will drink a little, give me a chocolatey cocktail, mmmmmm….. Yet even then not much lol.

    Giz, I am of the same belief along the same lines as you. It wasn’t good that dragged my h down to the depths of despair, it was evil. His ow, very very religious, yet everything went out the window when she set her sights on my h. Believe it or not, my h couldn’t even wear his religious charm during his battle to get back on his feet. He started wearing it again after she was out of the picture. My h used to tell me when I wanted him to wear it, that it would annoy him, it would irritate him. I ended up swapping with him and it would do the same, until after she was gone, now he is back wearing it everyday, doesn’t remove it at all, and has been like this since the beginning of last year.

  9. Rachel August 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Doug, any word from your friend how Jeanie the ex wife is?? Good for her taking him to the cleaners!!!
    My ex . A church goer. How fake.
    I’d love to get up on that alter and announce what he’s done to me and what he has said to me.

    • Doug August 12, 2014 at 10:28 am #

      Hey Rachel, Shoot, I should have included that bit of information in the post…It seems that his ex-wife is also getting remarried. That’s all I know, but good for her!

  10. Tryinghard August 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    What is it about the 10 commandments, the very heart and basics of Christianity does these supposed ” Christian” fuckers NOT get????

    Hello… They are pretty easy basic concepts. I must not be Christian enough! Sheesh

    Rachel, send me the name of his “church”. I’ll tell them! I bet he even thinks Jesus is on his side.

    Jesus cheaters are the worst. My husbands an asshole, liar but at least he never pretended to be a phony bible thumper while he was doing it.

    • Strengthrequired August 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Th, my h wasn’t a bible thumper either, it was though. She used to try and get my h to turn her way, my h would say. I’m not like you. Lol

      I am sure all of these people thought that god brought them together, that’s why it wasn’t wrong, because god brought their soul mates into their life to rescue them from their horrid life with their spouses. Lol

      I still have it’s words running through my mind ” ohhh I don’t love you, what I have for you is more stronger than love”. Wtf is more stronger than love? Lol
      She must have down graded him, because after a while she would tell him that she loved him. Lol pukeeeeeee

  11. Rachel August 12, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    Hahaha!! Trying hard.
    Oh yes everyone is now on his side because of his claim that he wanted me back on divorce day.
    So glad that I didn’t !!! Life is peaceful and my new man treats me so kindly.
    I just returned from a cruise from Bermuda with my boys ( hello cleaners). Taking my ex to the cleaners was the best trip that I ever took him on!!!
    🙂

  12. tryinghard August 12, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    That’s different Doug. It was blessed beer, by a Priest so it’s ok to drink, good for you even!!

    Don’t you know anything???

    I wish I liked beer. I’ve tried. There’s a summer lager by Schalfly that is very tasty. My husband always gives me the first sip but after that I can’t drink it. Wreaks havoc on my stomach! It would be so easy to drink beer because most places have pretty lousy wine unless you’re going to a good restaurant.

  13. Gizfield August 12, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    I think Catholics can drink, and gamble, and get annulments. Baptists aren’t supposed to do any of that . But I dont see the bible forbidding drinking so I do, on occasion dont care for gambling anyway. I remember my first husband’ s ex was Catholic, and got an annulment so she could remarry in the church. They were married seven or eight years and had a child. So if they weren’t married, what were they? Living in sin? How can something be both ways ?

  14. Gizfield August 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I had the eeriest feeling this morning. I got an email regarding Robin Williams suicide, and in it the person mentioned that he had a cardiac valve surgery in 2008 or 2009. This really chilled me, because yesterday I was thinking about my husband and how he really chsnged around the time he had cardiac bypass surgery. I googled Post Cardiac bypass personality change. I could not believe the number of stories of how many people experienced complete personality changes after this type of surgery. No one EVER mentioned this to me. I happened to know someone who told me her mother completely changed after her surgery. She said her mom was hateful and depressed whereas before she had been very sweet and happy. It just makes me sad that I think my husband went through this and I had no idea because he hid it from me. So if someone you know gets this type of surgery, please, please, please be aware of this possible side effect because from what I hear the medical profession does not like to admit it.

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