‘They’ have sent his student minister to see him. The student obviously feels awkward and out of his depth.
“There’s been a meeting…a small group are insisting that you stand in front of the church and tell everyone exactly why you have separated from your wife.”
(This is the group who have resented the changes he has brought to their church, who cannot cope with the new people from the neighbourhood who have started to come.)
The man knows he cannot do this. It’s not that he’s not prepared to be completely honest and vulnerable but…churches are often not the places of discretion they should be. His children do not know about the things his wife has done.
Suddenly the strain of trying to keep it all together is too much for him. He feels tired and unable to fight.
His letter of resignation is in the post by the evening…
Resignation means, although he does not know it at the time, the loss of his vocation, long periods of unemployment, having to claim benefit for the first time ever and…because of his failure to explain, being seen for many years to come as the one who broke up the marriage.