Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Auld Lang Syne

I wish I’d had the wisdom to tell you back then none of this matters. Twenty years from now, we won’t remember these slights-- at least they won’t sting as they do. All that matters is this time we have. Not that I was in love: maybe I should have been. But you were my friend, and that was good; what we should have been back then. We were right at the time and place, at least when we were laughing or ringing in the new year. It was good to be with you—it was good to be myself. We counted days, because they were short, always. We didn’t know why—we thought because love would get away, we’d miss our chance. We didn’t know what would make us who we are. I missed it in a way. Please forgive me. I didn’t know. All things petty seemed larger than life, enduring. But now when I say your name, I think of only you, and Alice, and the Auld Lang Syne.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Thoughts on Divorce

I've been thinking on divorce and life in the Church a lot during the Advent and Christmas season. This is the time of year, more than any other, that reminds me of my past, my shortcomings, the wounds I have inflicted on my family and those around me.

When I happen to find myself in a conversation with someone about the evils of divorce (I avoid these conversations, but you'd be surprised how often they happen anyway), I leave feeling shamed, acutely aware of my failings. No one needs to tell me what divorce does to my children. No one needs to tell me that it's not the Christian Ideal. I am keenly aware of these things, and never more so than during the holidays.

That said, I had an epiphany today about the Church and specifically about how our culture allows the Church to do some things uniquely well, if we let it. I would guess that no where else is the possibility of sexual redemption quite so attainable. Divorce is readily available in this country and, probably from a faith perspective, often abused. But to allow divorce is not to say the bond was not valid or blessed. It simply acknowledges a painful reality--This bond is broken. Only in the wake of acknowledging that brokenness and shame is there an opportunity to be made whole again, either by fixing it or admitting that it is dead. And even if the hard reached decision is the latter, life can be made beautifully whole, like a stained glass window reflecting and refracting light in a completely different way than an unbroken pane of glass. It's not easy. Putting together a stained glass window is a painstaking process, but the results of careful, deliberate workmanship are breathtaking.

I'm not advocating for divorce. I have never encouraged someone toward divorce, and I doubt I ever will. My husband and I have said more than once that divorce is like jumping out of a frying pan and landing in the fire, and there's really no way to know ahead of time which is worse.

I am attempting to express that divorce does not render someone a pariah, any more than pride or arrogance or intemperance. There are consequences, but there also is repentance, light, life, and redemption, regardless of the failing.

George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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