"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
II Corinthians 1: 3,4, K.J.V.
Gaining an Understanding of Individuals Who are Lonely Because of Divorce.
"Divorce is one of the loneliest of modern rituals. Before, during, and after the actual culmination of the legal process it is an ordeal that rips people away from their roots, their important relationships, and a part of themselves. There is really nothing like it - except perhaps war."
Lonely In America
Is there someone I know who is currently going through or is suffering the lingering pain of divorce who needs my understanding?
"While nearly every way of falling in love is kind, every way of getting out of love is cruel."
J. E. Buckrose
"Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me."
Psalm 6: 2, K.J.V.
Over the next few days, I want to take some time to study the word "understanding" for it will assist us in our study of David and Bathsheba.
Several years ago, a close friend went through the tough decision, after years of betrayal, to end her marriage of twenty years. Right away, people she thought she knew well and claimed to be her friends began to take sides and ask questions. "What happened? Who was at fault? What did someone do?" On and on the barrage hit her like a tidal wave. What made this situation more painful was that these prying inquiries came from individuals every time she stepped foot into her church. In fact, she told me, "It was so much easier to go to work because I was embraced by those who, like myself, understood exactly what I was going through."
Let me be clear, I'm not making some blanket condemnation of how "everyone" at church treats individuals who are going through a serious marital crisis in their lives. However, I do believe it is important, as we study the word "understanding" in relationship to individuals who find themselves living with the consequences of divorce, to reflect in a candid way on how we can better bring healing into the lives of those we meet rather than causing greater hurt.
The facts are quite clear; nearly 50% of the marriages, at least in the United States, will end in divorce. What's more, this figure doesn't decrease greatly just because you go to church or call yourself a Christian. This past week, I happened to catch a television interview with a very prominent leader of a Christian denomination who noted that it is rare in this day for any extended family not to be touched by the heartache of divorce, including his own.
And yet, as I studied some of the books containing "Christian Quotations" on a wide variety of topics, when it came to "divorce", the only quotes that were available were about the "biblical" reason for divorce and none of the comments had anything to do with the need for healing the hurt and brokenness of those who have had to endure pain and rejection and accusation.
In the book of John, Chapter 8, a story is told of a woman brought to Jesus, who from all outward appearances was one of the "guilty" parties in an adulteress relationship. The religious leaders of Jesus' time were ready to pin Him to the wall with the Law of Moses and forcing him to pronounce a death sentence on the victim in front of Him.
Instead, Jesus offered this woman three things: compassion, protection and forgiveness. In the midst of a tumultuous situation with threats and accusations swirling about - Jesus' heart was filled with compassion for the woman. He was concerned about her - her feelings, her brokenness, her pain. So He gave her a place of protection - a circle of safety where she felt she would not be harmed. And most importantly, He offered her His forgiveness.
And, I might add, Jesus left all of those who were watching this situation with some Heavenly advice. "He or she who is perfect can go right ahead and cast the first stone!" Guess what? Not one rock was hurled at this lady!
I love the way Ranini Rebera writes about this situation:
"She knelt at His feet
luxuriant black hair
caressing His tired feet…
mingling with dust and dirt
with hair and skin…
Celebrating a memorial to love.
see - yet don't see
a woman's faith
a memorial to love."
In a world filled with the harsh reality of the pain and trauma of divorce, what if we, as followers of the Master, as transformed women chose to have hearts of compassion, open arms of protection, and a spirit of forgiveness instead of pointing an accusing finger or hurling hurtful words or spreading malicious gossip.
Not long ago I read where individuals who discontinued their church attendance did so, not because they lost their belief, but more often because they lost their friends. They had no one who offered them compassion and protection at their moment of greatest need.
There is a poem, written by Mary Carolyn Davies called "Rust." These few lines should resonate with all of us because at some time or other each of us will find that we need to comfort another with the comfort God has given us.
Rusts into beauty, too.
I know full well that is so:
I had a heartbreak long ago."
Mary Carolyn Davies
"Merciful God, prone as we are to blame others and to hate ourselves, take from our eyes the dust that blinds us, that we may treat one another by the light of your compassion, and in the Spirit of Jesus Christ who is the Light of the world."
"Lord, I offer you my hurting heart and all the stories of the life and love that I have known with this very special companion. In your hands I place the loneliness, the emptiness, the pain, the despair of this brokenness. And especially, I give you the incredible sadness that has no ritual to mark it. By your power and grace, may I have the courage to meld this experience into my life story that I may become an encourager and enabler of those who also will walk this solitary way. Fill me, please, with the abundance of your Presence and grant me peace. Amen
Dr. Kay Collier-Slone
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.