A God-Fearing Man

I was surprised that Mickey wanted to meet me since he lived four states away in Texas.  He explained he was going to visit his daughter, who lived in an area near me, in a month’s time and wanted to set up a date.  He explained that he was looking for very specific criteria in a woman and found mine to be what he was looking for.  His explanation made me feel a little like a piece of merchandise he picked out of a catalog and was ordering.  No matter, I was flattered that he was making such an effort to meet me.  We decided to meet for lunch.

Mickey was already seated when I arrived at the restaurant.  I could tell he was very nervous because of the uneasy expression he wore and his rigid posture.  He looked like a deer in headlights.  “Is this your first time meeting someone?” I asked as I seated myself.  He responded with a tentative nod.  My heart went out to him.  I went about drawing him out of his anxious state by asking him about his family and his faith, as I knew he was most dedicated to both.  It did the trick.  He was soon in full discussion mode about his family, and especially his faith. 

No doubt, Mickey was a God-fearing man.  He had been brought up in Texas with a strict Baptist upbringing.  He had been a teacher of religion for 30 years at a high school connected to his church and was one of the church leaders.  He appeared most articulate and well versed when quoting and discussing scripture.  He became ever more passionate as he continued speaking of the principles of his faith.  His speech began accelerated, and his voice grew louder.  Thoughts of Cotton Mather spewing fire and brimstone came to mind.  He eventually began to speak of divorce.  According to him, divorce is a big “no, no.”  However, he made exceptions for mine based upon his own reasoning.  I was grateful for my personal dispensation but became increasingly wary regarding the intensity of his advocation, unsure of where this was going.  He then segued onto the tenets of marriage. 

Following in Her Footsteps Wearing the Wrong Shoe Size…

Mickey was interested in finding another wife and determined I was the candidate.  A widower, who had been very happily married for over 40 years, Mickey wanted to replicate that experience.  He then went on to describe his wife and how she fit into his life’s purpose.  She was depicted as a paragon of virtue.  He detailed her example as one he expected to be followed.  I smiled at him and continued to listen.  It came to me that he was a good man, in his own right, who for all his faithfulness and education, was a naïve one.  I knew that no one would ever take the place of his late wife.  She had fit too perfectly into a life they molded together over the years.  I knew that I certainly would never be able to fit into such a perfect example of womanhood, nor would I want to. 

We ended our time together with him taking my picture for his daughter and grandchildren who he had met.  His daughter was picking him up.  I felt a little like a celebrity.  He was most insistent that we do a long-distance Bible Study together.  I didn’t push back and knew I would gently decline in a written message the next day.  It was a pleasure to meet Mickey.  I admired his knowledge of the Bible and his strong faith.  I was surprised at his naivete regarding his wife-choosing process.  He would learn that it takes a certain amount of determination and emotional strength with which to find that special someone through the online dating process.  I felt that part of his naivete lies in that he was still grieving his wife and thought he could replace her with a “clone.”  I hoped he would come to understand that he would need to accept whoever became his next wife for the individual she would be.  Otherwise, I don’t think he will ever remarry or become unhappy with those expectations that may not realistically be fulfilled.  




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