February 13, 2014
“That’s the problem,” Wally murmured, his head hung low – raising his head and lifting his seventh beer to his lips he pushed his chair back away from the table and whispered in desperation – “nothing changes, life is a struggle, just seems I’m always wrong – always in the storm.”
Wally, trying to drink away the many problems that have him trapped in an unhappy life, staggered away from his kitchen table and went to their bedroom door – like his heart, the bedroom was empty. Mary Sue was gone – not taken by death or disease – rather from argument, dishonor, and deep disappointment. Now Wally lives in the arms of life’s greatest separation – divorce.
After well over 30 years of ministry, which included marriage counseling, there is little doubt that there are few amiable and cooperative divorces, heck - if any. Many have searched for the answer to a divorce which leaves those once one separated and apart willing to leave as friends and without anger. In the past, when I was first ordained, divorce took one in every ten marriages; the most common cause of divorce was “walking away” from trust and love. The “walking away” was most often caused by the embrace of lust and the importance of self – still to this day a major cause of separation.
Now here we are in the present of what was the future – divorce now takes every other marriage – seems the sacred word of faith, hope, and love are indeed more ignorable today as they were 30 years ago. “Oh, but times are different,” is the answer I’ve been most often given. In retrospect, guess I have to believe that. And what is different is the depth of illiteracy, the fall of education – the mass exodus from church, and perhaps most obvious the search for “self” satisfaction. “We’ll make this work.” The whisper shared after a trying time has been replaced with, “I’ll dump her and get me another.” Sure – that’ll work – dump her and then live in the storms of anger, stress, revenge, and the insane urge to “get even”.
Preventing divorce is perhaps no less difficult than preventing disease – recognize the symptoms, participate in both prevention and remedy, and above all “relive the love”. Sounds just about right – but given the times I’d encourage all parents to clearly point out to their children the importance of the phrase “relive the love”. I’m not talking about sexual attraction and satisfaction, I talking about the feeling of being one – sharing success and sorrow, living to love and love to live. When I’m with Chris I’m in the embrace of love – forgiveness is a given, hope is the soil where all the seeds of our future are planted. She is – she completes me.
Wally drinks way too much and treasures himself more than others. He found a number of lustful nights more important than the embrace of Mary Sue – and perhaps the saddest of all – he lived his life in stormy weather. Wally – you should have listened to Willie Nelson as he sang these words – “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky - Stormy weather - Since my man and I ain’t together - Keeps rainin’ all the time. Life is bare, gloom and mis’ry everywhere - Stormy weather -Just can’t get my poor self together I’m weary all the time, the time - So weary all the time.” Yes Wally – there is this truth - life’s greatest separation is indeed divorce. And Wally, you “brang on the storms”…