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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Broken Things 4

Today I'm reading Proverbs 30:18 - 19, first in the old lyrical King James and then a modern version:

There be three things which are too wonderful for me,
yea, four which I know not:
The way of an eagle in the air;
the way of a serpent upon a rock;
the way of a ship in the midst of the sea;
and the way of a man with a maid.

There are four things that are too mysterious for me to understand:

an eagle flying in the sky, 

a snake moving on a rock, 

a ship finding its way over the sea, 

and a man and a woman falling in love.

I was walking Bailey through the pitch-black neighborhood tonight and I heard a guy talking too loudly on his cell phone in the side yard of a house. So while Bailey was sniffing around I couldn't help but listen - probably constituted eavesdropping, so sue me! He was trying to sound reasonable but you could feel the anger shimmering in his voice. He was talking to his soon-to-be-ex-girlfirend or ex-wife and he was trying to convince her to come back. It sounded like he had just found out that she had left him.

I was starting to feel sorry for him until I heard him say, "So you didn't feel safe. You felt threatened! You're saying you felt threatened emotionally and physically and sexually?"

Then she said something.

Then he said, "Because I love you."

She said something.

He repeated, "Because I love you."

She said something.

And he let loose, "Because you *#@!8&^ ought to know that $#%^*&©∂•§..."

It went down hill fast from there. I hope she keeps her courage up to stay away. Too many women go back to abusive relationships with only the vague promise of "I'm going to change." Fat chance.
The poet Tennyson wrote these famous lines:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
(In Memoriam:27)

I'm not sure how true that really is. I mean I can understand it in the event of losing someone you love in death. Then the emphasis would be, "IT IS better to have loved, and lost, then never to have loved at all." That makes sense to me. You loved a person long and well and even though it is painful to part from them in death, the pain is worth it because of the love that was shared.

But there is so much brokenness and pain in the world because of failed relationships, or unfulfilled expectations in relationships I have to wonder about God's wisdom in trying to bring two people together in love. It's just as much a mystery to me as it was to the writer of Proverbs. The wounds of relationships cut in many directions. Children wounded by their parents lack of nurturing, or worse, by abuse. Siblings who hate each other. Married couples that live in frozen anger or bitter hostility. Long term dating relationships that end - suddenly or through slow erosion. The amount of hurt is often related to the amount of emotional investment the person has made in the relationship, and the unfortunate discovery that the other person doesn't have as much invested as you do! Or when you break it off, because, like in the stock market, you have reached your "stop/loss" point and you can't let the descent continue.

How does this kind of brokenness get healed? I'd really like some good advice to share because I am sometimes at a loss to try and help people who come to me with these kinds of hurts. How have you survived the break-up, the rejection, the disappointment? If you don't want to go public with your answer you can email me at Maybe I can use what you have learned to help someone else who's in a similar situation.

And if you're in the middle of a broken-heart experience I will pray for you. The one thing I do know is that healing comes through sharing your pain with someone else. Don't try to go it alone. The Lord is with you, but he's also put people around you for a reason. Trust someone, and share.


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