Yeah, Frank Could’ve Done That

Almost six months ago Frank’s life was set and planned. He had a beautiful wife and exciting plans to begin a family. Within a year or so they would have been expecting their first child. He was so familiar with his life and just loved his place in it. They were active in their church. They lived in a cute house that was becoming a home and shared everything. Frank even had a great extended family. He had two mothers and fathers-in-law, and a sister-in-law he adored. His life was on course for a happy ending. All that was left was to grow old with his wife and God willing, have a few grandchildren. But one day everything changed.

It seemed as though Frank just woke up one morning to discover that all of his hopes and dreams were swept right out from underneath his feet. Gone. Everything he knew. Gone. Everything he had been for five years of his life including three years of marriage. Gone. The only hand he had held. Gone. No longer would he be able to say, “Have you met my wife?” Everything changed. That life was over now.

Frank could just move away. He could run from it all. He could put it all behind him for a change of scene. New York could be his new address. Frank “the single guy” could become his new identity. It sure beats Frank “the divorced guy.” Surely Frank could find work somewhere else. Fresh beginnings, new start, new people and a new life. Yeah, Frank could’ve done that.

He could blame someone. He could blame her. He could even blamed her new “friend.” Or he could blame satan because he is the one behind all of the evil in this world, right? Better yet, he could blame God. After all, God is the One who has allowed Satan to run wild on this earth. And since He has allowed this to happen, He must be somewhat responsible, right? God could have forced it all to work out. In His unlimited power He could have limited her free will just a little so that she would have stayed and then Frank would have had his life back. Certainly there is blame to be placed at someone’s feet. Yeah, Frank could’ve done that.

Frank could become angry. He could rage. In the eyes of the world that would be justified. After all she left him for another man. He could talk bad about her. He could place a few phone calls to some of their mutual friends and tell them the truth of all that has happened. The lies, deceit, and refusal of marital counseling. He could save a little bit of face and not looke like some loser ex-husband who wasn’t good enough for his wife. Yeah, Frank could’ve done that.

Frank could become bitter at relationships in general. He could lose all hope in love.  Surely the world could use another cynical, ex-spouse turned proclaimer of the futility of love and marriage. Maybe Frank could join some sort of female-bashing support group that claim all women to be evil. Certainly if these types of clubs exist for women, they do for men. Yeah, Frank could’ve done that.

Frank could become overrun by guilt. He could blame himself for past mistakes. Lord knows he’s made more than he could ever count. Maybe he should have said “I love you” more. Or showed “I love you” more. Maybe he didn’t thank her enough or send enough flowers. He should have been more open minded, especially when it came to his principles. Perhaps he should have taken more walks with her around the neighborhood. She often asked but he was always “too tired.” He should have been less tired and less moody. He didn’t really love her like Christ loved the church. He could have tried harder. He should have tried harder. Maybe Frank is just too hard to love. Or maybe he is unworthy of love. Why would anyone ever want to love someone like Frank? Selfish, prideful, now divorced at the age of twenty-five Frank. Instead of facing these feelings head on, maybe he should just wallow and resign himself to a life of loneliness. Yeah, Frank could’ve done that. Actually, he did do that.

But many years ago Frank learned about a God who stands ready to offer second chances. He is the God who revealed Himself to the world through this God-man named Jesus, whose love, grace, and forgiveness has no limits. Frank knew that Jesus could have made different choices too, but instead he chose a death on a cross, a burial in a tomb and was resurrected by God’s power three days later. Why? Because long before the world as we know it even began, Jesus chose Frank. And Jesus wanted to prove it.

Many years ago Frank believed God and chose Jesus. For Frank, Jesus was still the best choice He could make.  And that made all the difference. It still does. And it can for you.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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