I couldn’t sleep very well last night. My brain is a difficult thing to control most of the time, and last night was no different. Yesterday at the store, a man came in that I remembered from a while back. He and his wife had several kids and were very devout Catholics. He was in the Knights of Columbus, she was active at the parish and both taught religion classes for a few years. We saw them around town in the summer sitting together as their children played with the other children. Recently, the wife has shown signs of single-hood and as I watched this man in front of me discussing fabric with a woman I didn’t recognize; it became clear what had happened. He remembered me and I asked how the kids were, feeling safe that he would at least care about his children. He proudly announced that it was one of his children’s birthday today and I smiled and commented at how times flies. All the while, this new woman just stood there unresponsive, basically waiting for the small talk to end and her fabric to be cut.
As they walked out of the store, sadness came over me and I mourned for their family. Restless all night, I thought about how heartbroken the wife must be, left at home with the kids while the husband, her avowed life-partner and friend, allowed the worldly influences to take him away from her. He’s evidently moved on to another partner for more excitement and new adventures. The security of sameness and devoted love wasn’t enough, wasn’t exciting enough, and wasn’t desired any longer. Both had changed, they were remaking themselves, several “selfies” of her on the computer prove that and he had showed signs of being a “new” person as well. Why? All the while, the children are watching, being witness to a metamorphism that isn’t really healthy for the family’s survival in this jungle of change.
There are no guarantees in life we are told. But perhaps there are a couple: how we conduct ourselves, and the love of our heavenly Father. But is that enough in our worldly worlds? I don’t know circumstances as to why the breakup of this previously faithful and spiritual family happened. One would think that if you prayed enough, attended church enough, occupied one self in good wholesome activities that the family enough, a marriage and family would be safe. But is it?
Talking with my spiritual director this morning, he pointed out that as we go through life, we can acknowledge God as our belief, but if we don’t acknowledge Him in our lives personally, build a relationship with Him and trust in His presence each and every moment of our lives, we will live in fear and distrust without guarantees to hold on to. A tall order for some, but necessary. We can put all our eggs in another human being, but for a couple to put all their eggs together in God’s basket makes far more sense.
As for the family, I pray for these precious children that didn’t ask for this, but were given a new task to learn at their young ages, forgiveness and endurance. My prayers are for all marriages around the world, everywhere; that couples grow stronger in their commitment to each other; seeing the beauty of long-lasting love. That all of us begin to fight FOR traditional marriages and prove those scoffers that marriage between one man and one woman can, and IS amazing and fulfilling. That living with one person for years and years and years…for the rest of one’s live is a GOOD thing that it may get boring, hard, and sometimes unbearable. But in the long run, there is no one else in the world that knows you better than your spouse; the value of that is irreplaceable and priceless.
Copyright 2014 Ebeth Weidner