Since my last blog, I've remember some incidents that I want to include before I move forward with my story.
The first is a conversation I had with my mother. My grandmother was getting glaucoma and had to be driven into Little Rock to see the eye doctor. Once while my mother and I were waiting in the car for her to come out, I was staring out the car window thinking about how angry I was at my little brother - the two of us never got along well - and I was thinking about various ways to get back at him for whatever he'd done this time.
My mother asked what I was thinking about. I didn't want to tell her, but because she often told me that I could confide anything to her and that I should be honest and not fib or lie, I told her that I was mad at Mitch (not his real name) and was thinking about ways to get revenge. I think I explained a specific idea for revenge, though I don't remember anymore what it might have involved.
I remember her being surprised. She said that I shouldn't think things like that. That it was just as much a sin to think about doing bad things as it was to actually do them because God could hear our thoughts.
To God, thinking about doing something bad was the same as actually doing it.
What a conflicted stew of emotions this created for me. I felt guilty for having bad thoughts. I felt angry because... it was like my mind was invaded and I had no privacy anywhere, not even in my imagination, which was extremely active and brought me much pleasure and escape. I felt betrayed because instead of siding with me against my brother (who was obviously in the wrong), or showing me sympathy of any kind, or even giving me kudos for my honesty, my mother had squashed my feelings and said they were bad.
It's still unhappying to think about.
The second thing I should have mentioned in one of the previous chapters was how I spent months praying for wings. I often had dreams of flying like Peter Pan or Superman - just zooming around over trees, mountains, towns. It was such a wondrous feeling of freedom as well as the roller coaster thrills of moving through the air at high speed.
I'd learned that Jesus answered prayer. Ask and you shall receive.
For some reason, I didn't expect to be able to fly like Peter Pan or Superman. I guess I knew that in the real world, wings were necessary. So I prayed for wings. A lot. Hard. For months. I'd check my back in the bathroom mirror, craning my neck to spot the first signs of nubs sprouting from my shoulder blades that might grow into wings.
I never got wings, obviously. It was very disappointing, but I can't remember it having any real effect on my belief in God or prayer, one way or the other; nor do I remember blaming my own lack or faults. For some reason, people couldn't have wings. It was just another disappointment, no different than many other things I'd wanted or wished for.
Next time, I think I'll be ready to move forward.