Tuesday, May 27, 2014


When the economy is stagnant, many find their livelihood jeopardized. Debts keep piling up; businesses fail; work places close, not a few people are faced with a bleak future. A diocesan bulletin  gives us the thoughts of a woman who underwent  such an experience, and writes about it very frankly. The title is: 'God, give me money in exchange for my husband'.

She was married for 20 years, and their world fell apart. They moved out of their parent's home. The parents moved to a small house, and they moved to a basement rented room. She liked the  basement room. It was the first time in 20 years  she had the freedom to do what she wanted. However, within a week, the rice container  and the purse were both  empty.

She always dreamed of living independently. Shortly, she  realized that  leaving the homestead she also needed to have financial independence and childlike, those thoughts came later. She felt helpless and with her husband started working in cleaning services.

Her husband was not accustomed to manual labor. When she dragged him along to work, that evening his whole body ached. He would lie down and grown with pain. She was not able to understand him nor did she want to understand him. She was angry and kept herself from being overcome by anger and hate. She prayed to God, and although she didn't want accolades for being a dutiful daughter-in-law for 20 years: why was she in such miserable straits? She couldn't overcome her indignation, and she started to cry.

She cried more during this time than in the  previous 20 years. Her whole being was hurting, and the dislike for her husband continued to grow. Than one day in prayer, she cried out: "God, give me money in exchange for my husband. I no longer need him, give me money instead." When we are moved by greed, she says, there is no standard to the kind of words we may use in prayer. This is what she heard in reply.

"I am with you." Hearing these words a cold shiver passed through her. She recovered her composure and saw her husband. In her mind, she was the only one having difficulties, had grievances, and was desperate, that her husband was going through the same thing never entered her mind. She admits that her husband  was the person she married 20 years before. What had changed was her way of looking at life. When all was well, there was never a problem but when the financial difficulties came she began to see her husband as incompetent. The problem was not with her husband but with her. The anger and hatred came not because of the husband, but because of her desperation.

She was yelling and desperate; her husband was without words and enduring it all with patience. When she realized what was happening, she was overwhelmed with shame and wanted to hide. "God, forgive me."

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