The boy was twenty-one now; a lever between them. Anna had become an emotional junkie. Her sadness and depression stayed around her like a wet blanket. But today her spirit turned to anger as an outlet to her pain.
‘Where have all my dreams gone?’ she thought bitterly. Twenty-one years ago Mathew’s birth had been a special event in her life. She was forty when he was born, her first child. Her husband, Andrew, was delighted with the boy. But Mathew’s birth was not enough to bind their marriage.
Andrew was ambitious, a driven man, who became a barrister in his chosen Law profession and enjoyed the social status that went with being a Crown Prosecutor. His work had taken him away from home frequently leaving Anna to be a sole parent most of the time. She had filled this role with devotion and had spent her free time painting landscapes and animal studies with considerable artistic flair.
But over the years she had noticed an ever deepening division between them. Andrew’s absences had become more prolonged and when he was at home he had always insisted on visiting his parents. He had wanted to make sure Mathew would be under their influence and guidance.
Anna believed in Jesus. The more her marriage disappointed her, the more she took her love to Him. He was her saviour.
It had been Easter when Andrew had returned from six weeks away working on a case. Anna had been pleased to see him come home. Mathew needed a father. But then his words put a vice around her heart.
“I am leaving you. I can’t live this way. There is someone else in my life,” he had said coldly.
Shock had left her motionless.
“Our marriage is a sham, you know that,” he had continued mercilessly.
“You don’t know what you are saying. We married for life in the Church. Didn’t that mean anything to you? What about Mathew? You can’t do this to him. He needs us.”
“He’s eighteen now, he will make his own life.”
That Easter Anna lived the crucifixion of Jesus. Through her own anguish, she felt His pain and suffering. Kneeling before the church altar, her mind screamed, ‘Andrew, you have forsaken me, your wife and mother of your child.’
“Oh, my Jesus,” she had prayed. “In the agony of your suffering, only you can understand my heart. Take away my pain and guide me in my misery, dear Lord, hear my prayer.”
Anna gained some sense of worth in the knowledge that Jesus loved her and would always stay with her. She spoke to him in prayer every day. He was her strength and purpose as she battled with loneliness and rejection from Andrew.
Now it was Mathew’s twenty-first birthday, a day she had always hoped would be special for him, a family day, a day of celebration to remember all his life. Instead, he would celebrate alone from his mother and father. Divorce had been a licence to destruction of his family.
Anna wept in her anger. She went outside her house, where she lived alone. It was on a beautiful property. The grass was green after the winter rain and a light mist had gathered over the trees in the valley. She walked down the slope to the palm trees where the ferns mingled in the undergrowth. A narrow tree trunk covered with green moss stood out against the background of the hills, a symbol of nature’s handiwork.
Suddenly, Anna was startled by a movement at the base of a tree. A large goanna with yellow stripes dotted across its back looked up at her, its two front legs embracing the tree it was about to climb. The goanna froze in an effort to camouflage itself. Anna was fascinated. She watched it for sometime and it continued to look at her. Then she left it and walked back towards the house, no longer in tears.
She noticed her anger had appeased. ‘So life is tough, with disappointments and struggles. Mathew must learn this too. My anger won’t fix it, but maybe forgiveness will,’ she told herself.
The spirit of the goanna had touched her. It was alone in the world too; the world that God had created, the world where Jesus had suffered too. There was no easy way.
“I must practice forgiveness."
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