I Felt The Earth Move Under My Feet

Don’t be a hater.
I am about to become a hero or a heel.
Depends on your perspective.

To the ladies who will consider me a hero or at least a really good guy, try to remember–I know it will be hard–that I am a very happily married man and therefore all of my considerable charms are unavailable. (Written with tongue planted firmly in cheek)

To the guys who are going to be haters… well imagine me with thumbs in my ears wiggling my fingers at you and saying nanny, nanny boo boo!

I am not necessarily proud of what I am going to divulge, but it is the reality of my world.

Favorite TV show? The Walking Dead.
Number of episodes watched during the latest season just ending? Zero–still trying to play catch up from the season before.

The reason why I watch so little of the action shows/ movies I love is quite simple.

Almost all of my TV time is spent curled up with my oh so beautiful wife watching our “favorite channels.” You know, Hallmark and Lifetime…

Yes, Hallmark and Lifetime are my friends–and if it means spending time with Becki, I will watch them until the cows come home (or she gets up and leaves the remote with me).

Just the other day, we were watching Frasier (and both enjoying it, thank you very much) when a commercial came on for a show with Joan Rivers. In this commercial, Joan and her daughter were trying out an earthquake simulator.

We had an earthquake once while living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It was just a few weeks or so after Hurricane Katrina. At least that is what they told us on the local news. I never felt a thing which means something very impressive: I am not an expert on earthquakes!

And yet, I have felt the whole earth take a seismic shift underneath my feet.

My friend Randy says about an earthquakes he experienced while stationed in California… 6.4 was the most scary feeling ever. How can a person stand their ground when it is rolling under your feet? We use the ground as a foundation. What happens when the foundation is what is changing?

Randy knows the worst kind of an earthquake. He lost a son in a car accident just a few months ago. We talk fairly often. I am not that far ahead of him in terms of time and loss. But I am far enough ahead to recognize what he is going through–to help him wrestle with his grief, anger, and pain. Much like one of my oldest friends (college roommate and road trip buddy–I am the giver, JD) did for me.
The brotherhood (and sisterhood) of loss understands like no one else the pain of losing a child…

What happens when you experience traumatic loss and a total upheaval (whether a child is involved or not)?

The ground under your feet moves, the foundation shifts, and the walls crumble.

Earthquakes change topography.
And no less so when the earthquake is of a spiritual natural.

Don’t be a hater.
If you’d like, you can make fun of me watching Lifetime and Hallmark (hey, some of those Christmas movies were pretty good).

But whatever you do, please understand this: There are some among us who have experienced the very worst life has to offer. The foundation of our lives has shifted, twisted, and crumbled beneath our feet.

I am one of them.
We have not rejected God. We are not denying Him. But we ask hard questions. We hurt. We seek to understand–even if there are no easy answers.

So don’t be a hater. Even worse, please don’t have a condescending or superior attitude. Reserve your judgment, for you unless you have walked in our shoes, you have no idea what you are judging.

I am thankful God is content with mental, emotional, and spiritual wrestling.

Can you be content and supportive of those who wrestle too?

Les Ferguson, Jr.

16 thoughts on “I Felt The Earth Move Under My Feet

  1. Great post, all around, Les.

    I have to admit… A couple of years ago, when I was first dating this lady, one of her friends called one evening and wanted her to go out to eat. She told her friend that she was with a nice man watching Glee. Her friend asked, “Is he gay?” “No”, she said, “He’s just sweet enough to let me control the remote!”

    And I still watch Frasier quite often on Hallmark Channel. It’s usually the funniest show on in that time slot.

    It’s really nice to be able to see you grinning in your writing.

    Best wishes and blessings to y’all,

  2. Our Sunday night schedule: The Bible (the first hour), then The Walking Dead, and then the Vikings. My favorite wife-time of the week….

  3. I don’t do The Walking Dead. (Although I hear about it since it’s filmed in Atlanta.) I also don’t do a lot of Hallmark and Lifetime.

    But this month, I HAVE done NCAA basketball for the sake of my hubby.

    And I do “Total Turtle Takeover Friday” on Nickelodeon for the sake of my son. 🙂

    One of the ways that some feel a “seismic shift” is when the child you asked for was not the child you got. You see, when I asked for a baby, I asked for a healthy one that would grow up to be independent and possibly accomplish something great.

    Instead, I got a healthy child who was diagnosed with autism, and while I’m sure he’s capable of accomplishing “something great” (and already has, if I look hard enough!), my hopes, dreams, and expectations did experience a seismic shift.

    It takes a while to get the ground back under your feet, and even when you do, it’s still sometimes a bit wobbly.

  4. I, too, watch a LOT of Hallmark movies with my bride of 38 years. I can endure the movies to be with her even after all these years. But then, at night, when she is going to sleep, I pull out my iPad and watch reruns of Cheers, or surf History Channel presentations out of Netflix.

  5. Earthquake is a good comparison. For us, and esp my son, after the lost of my husband (his daddy) and two older brothers, his foundation not only had quaked but gravity itself was gone. The loss of a child, or child and spouse, creates a perspective on the rest of your life and values; and I can always say, “I’ve had worse things happen to me.”

  6. I understand Les. My wife got me hooked on PBS shows like Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife. I actually like them a lot. Maybe. Don’t hate us but our indulgence for the past year has been Homeland on Showtime. 🙂

  7. I remember one particular argument that I had with my dad. I was pretty upset/unhappy. The reason I remember this particular argument is that after about the first 30 seconds, Dad just quit talking, and he just listened to what I had to say. I made a fairly compelling case and Dad could tell that I believed what I was saying to the core. In the end, we agreed to disagree, and he gave me his blessing in doing what I thought was the right thing to do. I could tell that Dad respected me for being dedicated to the position that I had taken. [Years later, time would prove Dad to be right on that score.] At any rate, the argument that Dad and I had on this occasion was a really ‘healthy’ argument – regardless of whether or not I was right – and Dad continued to love me, regardless.

    I think that when we ask God the ‘tough questions’, it is a lot like that argument that I had with Dad:

    -We have a firm position (right or wrong).

    -God has a firm position (always right; although we might not know what it is).

    -We are upset. Maybe even indignant.

    -God listens intently.

    -God continues to love us, regardless.

    God is the parent; we are the child. Children are in a state of continuous learning; therefore, parents have to be in a state of continuous patients. I believe God is a patient God, a loving God, and a big God. He knows our pain. He understands our pain. He can take our heartfelt cries. He loves us regardless.

    So, keep asking those hard questions. I don’t think He minds; I don’t think He considers it disrespectful; in fact, I think He’d prefer you to keep asking than to quit talking to Him. 🙂

    Love you!

    • Oh, and when I say “God has a firm position”, that doesn’t mean that I think God’s position includes a plan to inflict you with pain! I just mean that God has a position (period).

      So don’t be a hater! 🙂

    • Beautifully said. I will be sharing that in my Bible study group. We talk a lot about Grace and this will be a great way to get our conversation started.

  8. I’m picturing you both wearing your matching orange coats watching lifetime! haha
    I think its wonderful!!!

  9. Tried to post this but it went to my page! I’m not very good at this but your blog moves me to do better and give more everyday!
    Oh Butch, how well I remember my world falling apart when Richard died. I remember my parents being in total shock for months. Not really being in this world but going through the motions! I’ve always told my children I couldn’t bear them dying. And that is the real truth that I know first hand! Love and prayers are being sent your way and Becki’s!

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