Well, late in 2017, they did. Solely due to a miscommunication and misunderstanding among those that I worked with, my supervisor at the time fired me — five days before Christmas.
Future blogs of mine will cover this and its succeeding events in more depth.
For now, I wish to write about how those here in Orange County, California who purport to love others fail to offer the greatest love of all — unconditional love.
Although I established employment within three months of being fired by Orange County’s largest private employer, I do not as of yet have sustained employment. I’m in a probationary period, at my current job.
What makes this form of unemployment the most difficult of any that I have suffered prior is that my wife and I have two foster babies that we are trying to adopt. Of course, the joy of adoption is the only thing that will finally destroy the devastation of our being unable to naturally have children. If I cannot maintain a job, Social Services will simply take our kids from us. My wife and I will both be devastated.
Anyway, shortly after being fired, I took the logical first step. I sought help from a branch of a megachurch that we were attending at the time, here in Orange County — one of the most expensive regions of the United States in which to live.
Two of the ministers who had previously and frequently mentioned how much he loved my wife and me, ultimately, offered no help.
Later, we e-mailed that branch to ask for a simple loan. Many churches in our nation do offer such loans. One of the branch’s leaders replied by sarcastically typing “… this is a church — not a lending institution.”
As a result of this lack of love and support, we afterward visited another church in Orange County the following Sunday. We informed the senior pastor about our situation and how much we were financially in danger of losing our apartment and having to move to a homeless shelter. Instead of offering help, he eagerly informed us that he ministers at the local shelter and happily advised us that it is not a bad place to live, instead of offering help. Gee, thanks! No love, there.
I continued looking for compassion and love by texting a good friend of my family that we had known for decades. She immediately text me back telling me how much my neediness was annoying her and asked me to leave her out of my “next crisis.”
To sum up, ministers at a branch of a megachurch offered no help, though sermon after sermon they gave the impression that love is what their ministry is all about. Also, the senior pastor at another church invited my wife and me a stay at a homeless shelter. And a friend, who for years claimed to love my wife and me, told me that receiving news of my life-threatening problems was annoying her.
What got me through these shocking events? Unconditional love!
The unconditional love that I speak of was experienced after contacting a friend of mine on Facebook, who I had not seen since college and had not had the opportunity of speaking with in 25 years. Despite this gap in communication and despite the fact that my friend lives in North Carolina, on the other end of the continent, he showed unconditional love in graciously allowing me to call him whenever I needed a friend to speak with.
He continued to offer me advice on life, job-seeking tips, texts, and — most importantly — prayer. This unconditional love is, ultimately, what kept me from feeling discouraged and giving up. He even told me that my problems were not my fault. I simply needed to navigate through the storm.
Yes, this unconditional love and support came from someone that I had not seen in years and someone who lives thousands of miles away, unlike the ministers that live within a fifteen-minute drive.
Eventually, my wife and I returned to this megachurch. But, we joined a different branch that, in fact, gave us money to pay rent for one month. They told us that this money was in the form of a grant for couples who are fostering children, as the megachurch strongly supports adoption of foster children.
When I told my friend about this grant, he strongly suggested that — once I get back on my feet financially — I need to return this money to the church.
How about that? Someone who does not regularly attend church not only showed me the unconditional love that was not shown to me by ministers. But he actually advised me that the right thing to do is to reinvest in the church. Unquestionably, what a fine person!
And what a wonderful cure to life’s problems that unconditional love provides.