On Wednesday, I had the distinct pleasure of running into an old friend from high school. This was not one of those acquaintances where you check your pockets and turn away, acting like you forgot something important before you’re forced to speak and fake your way through a mutually uncomfortable exchange where neither acknowledges that you weren’t, really, friends in high school, anyway. No, not one of those at all. This girl was awesome then, and even more so, now. Sad news, though. It seems her husband lost his mind and left her and their two children. I can’t imagine what it feels like or how impossible it must feel to pick up the pieces of a shattered life.
However, I am getting the depressing opportunity to do just that – imagine what it feels like, as several marriages in my circle are in ruins. The relationship you once promised is forever is exposed as extraordinarily fragile and both are surprised at this fact, surprised at their heartbreak.
This husband got drunk on alcohol and his own success and, in a familiar echo of Babel, constructed his life as a monument to his new god, himself. This, of course, leaves little room for anyone else who is not a member of his tiny religion. Another soon-to-be ex-husband did the same thing. And another. And another. So many new denominations.
What I like to do with these posts is to tell some stories and connect them with an uplifting thread, but there isn’t any of that here. (My friend is fine. As fine as can be, while trying to make some sense of this wrecking ball to her family. But she’s letting God carry her, which is the best anyone can do, I suppose.) But sometimes, life just doesn’t make sense, it just punches you in the face and wounds us to our souls. Anytime we pretend it makes sense (through our bumper sticker cliches) or that it doesn’t hurt (through fake plastic smiles), we rob these moments of their holiness. Whether we feel the presence of the Divine or not, God is there, weeping, and the best we can do is to follow His example into that sacred space, hold each other as tightly as we can and let our hearts break together.
Now. Something different.
Today is the 3rd day where it’s really hot. Tomorrow, it won’t be, and we’ll have a ‘yard’ sale from 8-12 in the parking lot of the Bridge where there will be food, drink, pictures of my family on brand new paper, and ‘Sale’-ors will have the opportunity to buy a pair of the coolest pants this world has ever seen. I’ve never worn them. Instead, they hung, taunting me, in my closet for over 2 years – it appears they were bought in an overly optimistic mood. I’ll let them and their better-than-me attitude go for $2 (non-negotiable).
Then, Sunday at 10:30, we’ll continue our series called ‘Why We Do What We Do,’ and I can’t wait, because right in the middle, I’m going to share a passage/teaching that is working me over, transforming the way I see everyone, including myself.
I’m looking so forward to the weekend, because we’ve had 3 days of talking about how hot it is, some of us have had an awful lot of sadness and heartbreak, and we could all do with some laughter, celebration, joy, these chocolate chip cookies my wife made that are the best I’ve ever tasted, and BRAND NEW PANTS for $2!!
Love & Peace.