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A Righteous Man
4 months ago · · beauty, · Explicit
Preface: If I could have chosen any life, I would not have chosen my own, but rather this one - the life of a Righteous Man. It seems to me unobtainable. Firstly, I am not a man, and secondly, my life is well spent past the point where such dreams would be possible. Thirdly, I lack the innate emotional composition to carry out such a beautiful, moral, and ideal life. Additionally, I most likely lack the mental and physical acumen necessary to effect it, as well as the social graces it would take to make it through the training necessary for the vocation of the "Righteous Man" of my story. It is impossible and inaccessible to me, but, if I could simply choose to be other than I am, certainly I would choose this rather than this life of moral failure that I lead. I guess I will use the word "I", but I am no longer referring to myself, but rather to this "other person" whom I would greatly like to be. But at least I can imagine being this other way in another reality, and there is some solace in this imagination.
As a Righteous Man, I would, from childhood, early exert myself to the application of holiness. Rather than making a confused, jumbled mess of the Bible, and all of its nuances and applications, I would, from a young age, be a studious pupil of it. Rather than seemingly discordant stories of moral failure, I would see the underlying beauty of God's mercy towards us, and, I would revel in the fact that, being young, I would have such a beautiful blank slate before me - one I could fill with beauty, instead of sin, glory instead of failure, and triumphant love and applied mercy, rather than selfishness and foolishness, promiscuity, and seemingly endless moral and emotional failures. As a Righteous Man, I would simply be "laser focused" from early childhood to discard the potentially negative behaviors of those around me, to never take them personally, and to instead have my whole definition as an aspiring Child of God. As such, I would never participate in foolish worldly entertainment, I would never be hurt by either social inclusion or exclusion, it would not greatly bother me whether my family were, or were not Christian, and all my emotional investments would be in one place alone: in the quest to please my Maker with my every word and action.
I would apply the intelligence and focus the Lord had given me to the assiduous acquisition of skills building up to a successful career as a future surgeon. I would look neither right nor left, I would have no concerns about what was "popular" or "unpopular", what cliques said, or even about socioeconomic status or mindless academic athletes did with their lives. I would never be in competition with anyone, not in any real sense, and my worth would be established from my birth, and I would be aware of it. My identity would be so grounded in my walking after Christ that, it would be impossible for me to be emotionally vulnerable to any human being, so strong would be my conviction and sense of purpose. I would not struggle at all in school, because of this talent of superior intelligence and focus that I would be blessed with. Learning would come, not necessarily easily for me, but, it would not be a traumatic experience. I would simply be born assiduous and hard working. I would enjoy hours spent in isolation, cultivating these amazing skills with which I would concretely better the world. I would have complete mastery over my base emotions and appetites. I would desire *nothing*, quite simply, that was out of line with my life ambitions of showing God's mercy through applied medicine.
My entire childhood therefore, outside of brief athletic spurts, would be dedicated to acquisition of the necessary subjects required for medical school entrance. Though no medical admissions committee would like my straight forward and honest personality, I would somehow make it past the interviews with genuine, unfeigned statements, and would be tolerated not because I had good or personable essays - because I wouldn't, by their standards - but simply because of my test scores. I would state overtly that my desire to be a doctor would be "to help people" and would not take personal offense to the eye-rolling and rejoinders about how "many fields help people, that's not a good enough reason." Having the scores in hand, I would simply not return any fake smiles or hoop-jumping, I would not lower myself to any sort of BS explanations, but maintain my cause: "this is how I wish to help people, and I believe the Lord will help me do it." That would be all. No anger or disgust, no compromises. I would not get into the best of the best medical schools this way, because they only want "polished" sycophants, but, some lower rated school desperate for scores would accept me, though of course not love or include me - but, they would accept me simply to use my scores in their score-rankings, as the world does with people.
It would not affect me. I would not be going there for their social approbation. I would continue on on the same path my childhood had taken - the assiduous acquisition of necessary skills to the effecting of my goal. I would most likely form no close friendships, or close relationships of any kind. I would not be participating in the mindless entertainments and sports activities, or the useless and polished "dress up" celebrations of the field. I would stay entirely separate, probably be viewed as an antisocial prick, and yet, it wouldn't bother me. I would be like an emotional stone, dead set upon my purpose, independent of the worldly opinions that often crush more vulnerable souls. I would take delight in doing the best I very could in all of my studies, on which I would have incredible focus, and to which I would take quite well, devoting all my time to them. I would never struggle substantially to pass my classes, and would float through because of the natural, inborne gift of intelligence, coupled with daily application. I would never get distracted by mindless trivialities, any sort of entertainments. I would be - a working machine of sorts. Highly efficient and organized. Dedicated to task. Indefatigable.
Then, the greatest sacrifice of all. I would refrain from any sort of romantic relationships. I would not even have a dog, or pet of any sort. Simply, I would focus on my reward in heaven, and never have any sort of personally gratifying emotional or sexual relationship. I would give this up and rather elect a life of celibacy, not out of any great antipathy to other people, but simply because it would enable me to do the most, being devoid of this selfish, personal pursuit. By doing this I would avoid a world of hurt. Neither would I be stained with any form of promiscuity or fornication, nor would I be let down by a series of unrequited lovers. Nor would I be in any position to hurt, or disappoint, another person. Nor would I feel the deep burden of emotional loss upon the suffering of the other person in question, or any form of inadequacy. I simply would not be attached in that manner directly, to anybody. All the direct pain of loss that comes from investments being made and broken here, and all the potential for sinfulness from the failure of these investments, and possible bitterness's and any negative such emotion, I would simply forgoe.
I would have this perfect self control over my base desires such that, I would simply have all drives completely under control and in subjugation. I might aesthetically recognize someone to be beautiful, but, it would come second to my mission in life. I simply would not feel any sort of lustful anything. But more than this. I would be complete enough that I would not have *emotional longing* for anyone in this world. Not in the full and real sense...not in the sense of unbalancing desire. Not in the sense that it could consume, or destabilize me. Not in the sense that I would hold anyone up in reverence, or be so attached to a person's validation of me that I could not otherwise function, if that validation or that person fell through.
And then, a harder sacrifice still. The abdication, with this, of the marital ideal, and with this, the beauty of children. Though I would recognize in others, that, for the majority, this would be the highest ideal - the most beautiful thing a person could aspire to - to create a loving family, with a strong, compassionate, godly father, and a loving, beautiful, selfless Christian mother - and from this loving union to bring forth the most adorable creations upon the Earth, and the most needy and personally desirable to have - even recognizing all this, I would somehow have the strength to forgo it. I would have this higher dedication that would not stop me in my tracks to for hours take in the beauty of the face of an infant, nor marvel deeply over the intimacy of breastfeeding. I would not have my face stuck like some gawker upon a natural living art that would suck in my will power and render me somehow captive perpetually thereafter to the selfish pursuit of advancing all the needs of "my" children. I would simply pass on by, acknowledging it to be a thing of great beauty, and *yet* managing to sacrifice it.
I would finish medical school and associated internship without complaint, and, somehow, I would also not complain about the massive debt load. Simply, financial fear wouldn't strike me. I would have no dependents, and therefore, bankruptcy would not phase me. I simply would have no anxiety. I would care so little about myself and my personal well being - outside of the maintenance of my temple that - the crushing financial load dropped on my young shoulders, or the strenuous work week would not phase me, at all. And having already determined to forgo a family and marriage, and living really simply for my eventual death, I would not be able to commiserate in any genuine way with my colleagues, who would probably be in fits of rages struggling to balance a family, pay off their debts, and deal with a completely irrational workweek - all while competing against each other for prestige and internships. I would rather actively pursue the crappiest internship, and leave the better ones to others. I simply would have no personal investment in pursuing anything other than the crappiest internships, given that money or accomplishment, or even the sustaining of a family would not be goals on my radar. I could readily accept the crappiest of things, because, simply, it would only effect *me*.
I would assiduously work for the worst hospital with the worst pay and hours, without the expectation of any advancement or reward. I would accept the crappiest pay among the medical fields, if only this were possible in the field of surgery. This would be the one caveat, I would not relinquish on the field of surgery, which would be the best application to be sure, for that superior skill set I would most likely have.
I would have incredible manual dexterity, such that, I could actually do the field of surgery. And, I would have no predisposition to fainting. Or burning human fat. I would be able to stand and deliver in the fullest sense. I would be like an artist with the little laser gun, or...well, forgive me, but, whatever it is they use. Robotic Davinci or whatnot.
The nauseating occurrence of people bleeding all over me, injected full of needles, flesh and fat hanging everywhere, and crude necessary stitches would not invoke in me any particular emotional response, and I would truly be like a human tool. Any possible death incurred would not completely emotionally devastate me, nor even the occasional mishap - as, I would of course not be perfect. I would be the necessary emotional stone required for surgery, and I would even be able to go through those overdramatic training sessions in which one feigns empathy for their patients, through forced theater. I would be able to withstand those sessions without crumbling under the superficiality of it, and I would be able to gracefully comfort people, but, in general, I would leave the comforting to someone else. My only contact with people would really be in this impersonal format - cutting away tumors and other such growths out of them. There would be no possibility for all the sticky emotional interactions with other people, or, all the horrific small talk necessary, that serves as the basis for so many relationships. Everything would be useful, practical, and, safe.
Safe in that, it wouldn't require any sort of emotional giving out of any kind. It would be service in its purest form. Service, without me actually involved, except for sort of as a human robot. There would be no places of ambiguity. No "deep detective work". It would be...advanced butchery. And I would be damn good at it.
At the end of each day, I wouldn't wonder..."what have I done for Christ at the end of this day?" It would be all quantifiable. I saw 5 patients, removed a tumor out of one, repaired a cleft palate on the other, stitched a finger on the other, helped to patch a gunshot wound, and unclogged one artery. Every day there would be something definite, quantifiable, tangible in the most real sense, and from this, I would have incredible peace of mind.
Others may have wasted their life in selfish hedonism, exploitation of the poor, ruthless quests for prestige, continual serving of their basal lusts - food or sex or drugs or entertainment addictions - or drunken revelry or, whatnot, but, thank God, this would not apply to me. I would never be plagued with any fears about being an unprofitable servant. My entire life would be a testament, a deed, to my righteous application of God given talents.
Of course, there is the medical system. One cannot claim righteousness if one is part of an immoral system. But I would quickly extricate myself from it. I would work the absolute bare minimum catering only to the patients who could really afford such lavish surgeries - the wasteful rich - and once I had paid off my debts, I would amass just enough money to pay my fare on the Mercy Ships of Africa.
There, I would surely also be hated for being an antisocial person, but I would not even waste the time trying to integrate into a Christian community. I would simply say "here is my skill set, I will not get in your way, or violate your policies, I simply wish to serve here" and, seeing a cheap surgeon, surely, though I would have no personal appeal by their count - no "gala" nature or jovial levity of any sort - they would surely grudgingly accept me as a cog in their system.
Extricated from the immoral Western money-making medical debacle, I would be a doctor in the real, and truest sense. While not gifted with the sort of healing of the New Testament, that truly desirable healing that makes blind men see, and all of the glories we all read about, I would be able to do basic butchery, and would see to it that the effect were the best I could render it. My life would culminate in the constant butchery facilitated healing that is necessary in a society that has poisoned its food and water. I would be extremely happy continually with this lifetime culmination of my worldly efforts. I would be so completely without self doubt, self hatred, insecurity, loathing, comparisons to others, vulnerability, anxiety, or personal attachment to my life that I would be ecstatic to have achieved the idealistic dream of a Righteous Man: a doctor, who really had "given all" they could and well invested their talents.
It would be an incredibly lonely life, and yet, I know I would be content. I would not be like the others on the Mercy Ship, and I would be aware of this. I know the other doctors there - they would have families, and, perhaps there would be people just padding their resumes on the thing, or inflating their egos - or, who knows of what motivation. Or, there would be those sort of Christians that are well accepted and liked by everyone. Who have all these amazing friendships, and are personable, and make jokes, and love the medical establishment, and speak pleasantly, and say all the right things, and do recreations and ceremonies and all of that stuff people love to do. They would be truly "normal" Christians.
But, I would never be one of them, and though I would incur their distaste, for not making the effort to be one of them, I would not let it affect me. I would not be affected by a lonely walk.
I would prefer, to all of them, to simply close my door to my room at night. Once the last patient would leave, I would shut out the noise for the night - presuming surgeons get a night off - I don't quite know whether they do, or what the Mercy Ships are actually like, and, I would retreat in perfect peace to my little cabin room.
I would close the door to my room, and light a candle - supposing such things are allowed on Mercy Ships - and I would sit there on my bunk, with a candle, and my Bible, and I would be able to say prayers that I would know would be heard. I would say prayers with a clear conscience, knowing I had lived my life right to the best of my ability. I would take care, careful care, not to eat any animals or exploit anything during my life. I would probably be just eating lentils and rice - some simple thing, virtually tasteless, just simply for subsistence. It would be all I would require, and I would not long for anything else.
Only for the contentment in that room. The contentment of knowing I had truly optimized my life. And being a man, I would not have "stolen" the career from another provider. Nobody could accuse me of stealing a career from a man that might rather have used it better, or from a possible provider of a family - mostly because - I doubt many sane people take their families with them on medical ships to Africa, though I know there are some who do. I would not be guilty of "stealing a medical spot" or usurping the natural order of things. I would be in a perfect hierarchy, no subverter of anything - not loved or liked by anyone but - not toppling all decency for personal advancement either.
I would take great pains that nobody would photograph my work, and that no useless promotions or recognitions would ever be given to me. I would strive to truly be "anonymous". Not like that loud and outspoken group in the media - but, in a quiet way.
My entire life would be lived for the nights in my cabin. The nights of intense, fervent prayer. I would pray prayers of thankfulness for God's having given me the ability to heal - not, admittedly in the New Testament sort of way - but, that the entire being and purpose of my life would be as an effective healer. I would give continual thanks for the amazing skillset in my possession, a skill that I could use to pro bono help the poorest of the poor - admittedly through a form of butchery - but the best butchery humanity could produce. I would give thanks to God for the laser focus and humility he bestowed on me, and for the supernatural ability to preserve me from icky human relationships of the emotional sort - and for a balanced emotional mindset - such that I would never be overcome with sorrow, or grief, or, heartache of the selfish kind. I would thank God for my emotional sterility that would enable me to perform my job with unflinching dedication. And for sustaining me through any possible deaths that would prove unavoidable, despite the best efforts.
But most of all I would thank God for preparing me for his Holy Mountain. That highly desirable place for people washed away from all sins. That place where "they shall not hurt nor harm." I would pray that God would render me even more useful and focused such that I could be this instrument of showing his Mercy to people in a tangible way, and for the sheer enjoyment of doing something so purposeful, and so rewarding with my life, in a way that probably no other career could ever be, so purposeful, so tangible, and so intrinsically rewarding.
I would feel so clean. I would feel so spiritually clean. I would have no regrets about my life. I would be able to prostrate myself before the Lord in total adoration that I had been kept clean in an entirely filthy world. I would pour over His words, and seek Him with prayer and fasting, and ask Him to continue guiding my every footstep such that I would be closer, ever closer to Him, and not horrifically far off, as so many others so painfully and apparently are.
I would marvel and patiently await the Day of Judgement, and the separation of goats and sheep, and despite this incredibly rigid lifestyle designed to keep out all potential sin, I would still ask Him to cleanse me of hidden faults, such that I would not stand on my own dirty rags and failing righteousness, but in true imputed righteousness somehow before Him. I would wait for the day when I could kneel before Him in a truly safe world. A world where one can make reasonable investments.
A world where one can have a spouse perhaps, without the accompanying fears of death and suffering. A world where one can have many children, easily, and so many - and raise them in a world without sin. That magical world where nobody hurts or harms. The world where "each one has their mate" and the world is restored to its Edenic glory.
I would meditate upon the unfathomable: God sitting on the topaz throne, surrounded by halos of rainbows, too beautiful to look at, too high to understand. The King of Compassion somehow accessible, somehow directly entreat able and accessible.
And I would know...not just speculate...but know, that He had "ordered my steps" in the fullest sense, and rendered me through progressive sanctification as "holy" in His sight. I would look over my entire life, and it would, from start to finish, be a perfect offering, where I held nothing back for myself, but continually served others, not even taking the pleasure of a marriage or children, or social acceptance or anything. I would have truly tried "my very best", even though, I would know, with obvious clarity, that, even as a Mercy Ship surgeon, my life would be intrinsically marred by the destructiveness of sin, and I would still be as wholly reliant as any other sinner for salvation.
But I would not have to this the added shame of not having tried my best. I would be inadequate, but, not through lack of trying. I would have tried my best and still wound up inadequate, which, is better than aiming to be inadequate or giving up in the first place.
My entire concept of relationship would be in the "safest" location. At the feet of a perfect Lord. There would never be any sort of possible risk of loss, or pain or failure. My entire hopes of happiness would be removed from this world and deferred to that later world.
I would sit there in the dark, with my candle, marveling over the gift of God's Word, and attempt to pray and fast for people.
I would feel so free from the social pressure of people trying to drag me down into unmerciful or selfish ways of living. I would feel so free from any materialism. I would long for nothing in the world. I would feel NO anxiety.
I would hardly care if I died the next day or not. Because I would know I was living right, and only for the glory of the Lord. I would see to it somehow that I managed to truthfully live that way.
Every detail of my life would try to showcase this devotion to Him, without having myself present in it. And besides, I would quietly scurry away from the others. It is impossible, so difficult to maintain relationships...especially with people who are unlike minded.
I would be able to be quietly vegan, without the pressure of the entire church eating doughnuts and meat and everything. I would be free of the pernicious American and Western culture, and from materialism in general. I would finally feel free in a room with just a bed and a candle, and nobody could accuse me of being rich or awful things of this nature.
I would be beyond reproach, and finally free from guilt or shame, or fear, or anxiety.
I would really be resting in the Lord.
What a life that would be. If only I had rather somehow lived that life, instead of my own.
Maybe I would even die young, of malaria or something, having given my life in the service of the Lord. I am sure then, not that I would be something, but...I am sure somehow that were a human able to get themselves together in preparation for heaven, I cannot see how such an individual would not be faring better than the rest of us.
Instead, I am dealing with my own life.
I do not even wish to think about it. It is largely one catastrophic failure compared to what might have been. I may even presently be under the wrath of God, and who knows what fearsome thing might await once I pass.
I cannot order my steps seemingly rightly no matter what I do.
I have not lived like this sort of ethereal saint. Nor do I seem to have some kind of freedom or strength to do so now.
I cannot afford the 600 a month to sail on the Mercy Ship, even assuming I could acquire some medical skills. I am too old for medical school, and besides, who can be a doctor with 3 children in tow? What of their education, their lives? No, my life is the children. Not that I am a stellar mother.
Even in old age, I know I would be entirely useless in such an environment. I am too emotionally loose to be able to handle the pressures of such a stringent, meticulous life as is probably required to be an effective medical person on a ship such as that. And as for being an engineer...how awful. I know that is a wrong, and ungrateful thing to say. It is a privilege to be an engineer. It is much better than being a person who handles bananas in Ecuador. I am fortunate and I am aware of this. To be able to return to work as an engineer someday.
It is hard not to detest the thing though. It is so entirely impersonal. I know I just wrote several pages talking about how the impersonal sterility of surgery is attractive. But you don't work on a person - you work with some obtuse, mindless data, that more often than not is used for some worthless application like social media or whatever the mindless society of today adores. Awful things like advertising. In the best case scenario, you are making a car or a tractor. This, is an honorable thing. It requires strenuous effort to get excited about a piece of metal.
And the nature of it. For a woman. It's abhorrent. An ideal woman is not like an ideal man. An ideal woman is supposed to be maternal, and soft, and kind, feminine, and beautiful, and quiet, and soft spoken, and pleasant, and....how can a woman ever *genuinely* be something as disgustingly male as an engineer. I refuse to believe that I was actually supposed to be this profession, that God could have ever intended such a chauvinistic, egotistical, prestige-pissing-contest of metallic craptactacle making for me. It is so graceless compared to everything God makes.
God makes things of real beauty. Now it is true, a surgeon is not healing in the fullest sense, not like God heals. But at least they are still working on something meaningful - the butchery of a human. Without which they could not live.
At least when they put their hand forth they are not making mindless things like cell phones, and things that will only pollute our world - but, rather, working on the living organic thing - however imperfectly, and healing to the best of their ability. Is there anything like healing anyway?
How I wish - somehow - that I had been borne to parents other than my own. To faithful parents that loved the Lord in sincerity and fullness. That were not materialistic. That would have imbued in me real godliness, which I lack in a real and full sense.
But it's not their fault my state now.
At some point a person has to own up to the fact that yes, this is all their fault.
How can I be holy now? All I can do is imagine this holy other person, and how I might pray *were I them*. This is the only way I can even manage to imagine right praying.
I am not even entirely certain that my prayers are still heard, and even if they are, that I would be able to pray the right things over my life.
But I imagine if by some miracle I woke up and were someone else...I could have real joy again. Supposing I ever had it, as best I ever did.
I could have the real joy of feeling like I had a real, beautiful, clean conscience before God. As though it were possible by assiduous daily efforts to "be holy as He is holy".
As though this goal were tangibly possible, in more than words, for me.
Who could be holy with parents such as mine, whom I am supposed to honor, but, who invasively want to throw out all my attempts of introducing the children to godliness - and outright tell me to divorce my husband and leave off my entire lifestyle for one mirroring theirs? How do you honor people who openly joke? I hope it's a joke, about giving the poor a vaccine that they consider deadly to themselves? How do you honor people who would have you turn your back on any attempt at godliness to maximize the acquisition of money? By what fluke was I born to parents who hated all things of God?
And how can a Christian possibly respond to this, and simultaneously shield the children from these mindsets?
And why was I born in this time, when godliness seems to vanish?
And why is it on my heart to be vegan, and why do I read that in God's Holy Mountain, they will not hurt nor harm? Why do all these realizations come now...when I cannot find a single person who would share my walk in them - no, especially not in the Christian circles, and I will not look to the pagans and join them in their godlessness because they happen to be right on this one point.
Lonely is my walk. Without the justification of being a surgeon.
And I am not in the emotional stability such that I can easily comfort myself. I am not an emotional stone of sorts. I am weak and fallible, and deeply emotional. Emotions I cannot control. Unexpected and sweeping sorrow. Sometimes anger. Unrefined, and I'd do better to keep entirely silent. Yet I cannot manage to be silent...I feel...I must write, I must pretend someone hears me, or I will go mad being so entirely alone, yet not alone.
Too intelligent to be happy in the lower entertainments, but not intelligent enough to be one of these actualized surgeons...what a predicament to be just intelligent enough to realize something is terribly wrong, without any real capacity to ameliorate it substantially?
What good would it do if I went back to work as an engineer? Shall I engineer meaning into my life? And if I were to somehow donate my entire income to Mercy Ships, would that make me right with God then?
Would He then overlook this abysmal failure with my parents and all society. Would everything just "work" then?
And where would I place my children? There are not merciful vegan Christian schools. Shall I leave them to develop diabetes and cancer at the schools that feed children candybars and pizza? Shall I dirty their hands with the dairy and industrial food system? And so many other ills?
Shall I live my life in pretended righteousness in my own home, only caring for my children and trying to serve the Lord exclusively through our tithe, which I don't even earn?
How can I obtain this holiness that is so far off from me?
And if I say "I forgive my mother" and I let her in here with all the "gifts" she wants to give my children - certain to eventually turn them against me because the grandparents have all the money - and, they're so indulgent, and Mom is not - then, is this serving God? Is this better?
I don't know what to do.
The only solution I have found is being isolated from everyone. It seems as though, somehow, I cannot see eye to eye with any of them. Definitions of mercy slip in compromise.
I must go.