Wept For Me

Fort Monroe has got to be the most beautiful installation in the Department of Defense. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, it has a spectacular view, a fascinating history, a grand old hotel, a quaint yacht club, beautiful beaches, and a simple, yet marvelous chapel. Indeed, it is a very busy place with lots to see…all sorts of Naval vessels cruising in and out of the harbor. Over the years I watched aircraft carriers, hovercrafts, and submarines sailing to and from port. There is an incredible amount of wildlife, too…fish, turtles, and dolphins. There were free concerts there in the summer and small gatherings of families and friends for picnics, fishing, relaxing and what have you. A truly neat place to hang out.

The bay also provided a vast weather spectrum. It was always cooler there and soothing was the wind, sights, sounds and smells of the sea. Sometimes the sea got violent. The waves would be crashing in and I would try to catch the spray off the walls like a child playing in the rain. Being 31 years old at the time, I found this to be very therapeutic. On rare occasion, the sea could be calm and tranquil…also a truly amazing sight.

Most dear to me about this place was my peace and serenity. At some point, I decided to make this my own personal sanctuary. First was the business of relinquishing my claim of a small part of the universe, then I claimed Fort Monroe as my own. I never told anyone that for fear I’d have to pay taxes on it or something.

This wondrous place was a gift for me provided during an intense period of grief. For my loss of a loved one was difficult to handle to say the least. Gone was my wife. This death of sorts was not due to cancer, nor to a car accident, but instead to one of the deadliest diseases to hit our nation… divorce.

During the first week of May 1996, the official divorce notification showed. Somewhat relieved from the legal obligations and the whole nasty business, I remained extremely saddened by the realization that a ten-year friendship and marriage was really over. What’s more, it was approved a couple weeks back by someone I never met. It seemed so impersonal compared to the extravaganza with lots of friends and family celebrating our wedding.

Needless to say, this news did not sit well with me. An afternoon retreat to Fort Monroe was in order. So I went for my normal run and when I was done, I stopped to look out over the bay. It was an unusually still, clear day…not a cloud in the sky and the bay was as smooth as glass. How ironic it was to see the bay so still, and at the same time, my feelings so lifeless. It was well beyond my normal amount of self-pity. I was alone and abandoned. Honestly, I was sort of angered by it all, too, and so helpless.

My trip to the Fort was a purposeful one…here was the best place for me to meet God, and I had a question for Him. The question may have been of one lacking faith, yet nonetheless, a sincere, honest one. My question: “Do you God know my anguish, or do You even care?”

At that moment, a drop of water hit my cheek. I quickly swung my head around to see if a bird passed by and left me a little present, but that was not the case. It was a phenomenal event. One drop of water hitting me in the face during one of the stillest moments of the Bay’s history!?! My guess was then, and remains today, that God shed a tear for me to let me know He did, indeed, know my anguish and my pain. A crazed sort of giggle escaped me for this is how God speaks to me. God let me know in His special way that He cares for me and loves me. I cried for I was no longer alone. And then cried again for the realization of the joy He gave me that day.

Since then, my life has changed dramatically. I discovered honesty to myself, and obedience to God. The result of such a lifestyle has been a happy, joyous and free life. Another thing I noticed is that God continues to give to me, especially when I trust in Him and believe His plan is better for me than my own.

The shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35, reads, “Jesus wept.” You may recall the scene surrounds Lazarus who has been dead for several days and Jesus gave him life again. Now… I heard a radio evangelist explain why he thought Jesus’ spirit was so moved to do this deed etc. It was esoteric and deep, but I believe God simply wants us to know that He feels our pain, and that He can and will restore us spiritually.

God wept for me and He restored my soul. The Redeemer weeps for us all.

Author John Gage is a husband and father to two teenagers and baby twins. He serves as a Major in the US Air Force, and considers himself a novice writer.


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