We never knew that did we?
We only knew what we learned of Arthur Miller in high school and college or our further pursuit of theater. He was touted by many as America's greatest playwright. And his life didn't lack for fascination: the intellectual who married Marilyn Monroe.
His greatest works were written early in his career - before the marriage to Marilyn.
But it wasn't the marriage to Marilyn which became the hinge of the door separating two acts of his life. It may actually have been the birth in 1966 of a son with Down syndrome whom Miller immediately had placed in an institution and whom he never acknowledged throughout his life. Even Miller's obituaries when he died in 2004 mentioned only three children.
There are many comments I'd like to make, but I want you to experience Arthur Miller's Missing Act, which appears in this month's Vanity Fair with all the emotional twists and turns I did as I read it.
At the end, I couldn't help but sob out loud at the sad choices we humans make in our lifetimes. None of us is immune. I don't hold myself up as any better than Miller because of the unfortunate choice he made. I think that is the bittersweet part of growing old as a believer in God: you see the sadness and destruction so much more clearly, but if you have a true relationship with God, no matter how hard you've worked to make something worthy of your life you can't help but be aware of how short you've fallen yourself.
There's no pride in my heart that I made a different choice than Arthur Miller about whether to accept my own child with Down syndrome, only sadness that in all the choices which lie before us throughout life not one of us can escape falling short in some area or other.
I'm beginning to understand that the path to understanding the heart of God means allowing him to lead you through places of the deepest grieving - where judgmentalism is completely cast off as you begin to realize that it's not just a Christian slogan that "we're sinners saved by grace" and we really can't afford to hold ourselves in higher esteem just because we did some things right.
Yes, as you will read in the article - which is so well written and with a perfect "Just the Facts" approach - Miller could be accused of hypocrisy. But when I think how he must have felt as he prepared for his death perhaps finally understanding the gravity of his choice, I can't help but feel compassion.
There but for the grace of God. . . .
(posted at MommyLife)