I didn’t really give a second thought to all the rhetoric generated by the alleged Pat Robertson quote on divorcing because of Alzheimer’s. I figured Robertson was being true to the nature of a conservative, Bible thumping, moron and left it at that. Let them all feed on each other so long as they’re not butting into my life was my basic cerebral response and I left it alone. And then I read William Saletan’s article posted on Slate, The After-Wife.
Boy was I wrong.
Robertson didn’t condemn; he didn’t judge and he didn’t ‘go to the scripture’. He thoughtfully mulled over a single situation. A personal experience conveyed via a chat room and read by his co-host, Terry Meeuwsen. He responded with his experience, his knowledge of marriage and above all else, his heart. It was a sight to behold. I loved it so much I had to print the article and a transcript of that portion of the show. At that point in time, Pat Robertson was a man and he responded in kind and I am forever grateful.
I loved how he started. He hates Alzheimer’s. He was passionate about it. He actually hates the disease and what it does to not only the patient, but their families. Unions that fifty years of battering through financial hardships, raising children, infidelity – all manner of strife – couldn’t rent asunder; Alzheimer’s does. It takes your life partner away and replaces it with a confused, sometimes angry, oftentimes frustrated stranger. It steals life but never gives you closure. It’s a horrible disease and simply needs eradicated.
I was so moved seeing his inner struggle. He knows, better than I do most certainly, the Bible’s stance on marriage. He knows what his and many other churches say on the subject. But he also knows humankind. He knows men and women need companionship. They need an anchor that secures them to everything they’ve done and seen and been. It’s like looking into your past, seeing all the good, bad and in between when you when you looking into your partner’s eyes. Robertson knows we aren’t meant to be alone and he reached into himself and pulled out some humanity for this specific man and woman and spoke from the heart.
And what a heart it was.
I was struck by the thoughtfulness of his words. How he took the situation under consideration and how his views of marriage and sin and how humans love and grieve and gave an honest answer. It wasn’t the ‘safe’ answer and it wasn’t even really a definitive answer. He said what was on his mind in a humble and compassionate way.
I was instantly in love.
Pat Robertson is my new hero. He’s aware of why people look to him for advice and he’s very careful in giving it. He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, let alone all the right answers, and he’s willing to reach out and try to understand the human plight. He believes in God’s Word but he doesn’t think it’s infallible. Much like the Man he strives to emulate, he knows he too is a simple man with simple needs and simple views. He did himself good this week. I just thought you should know it.