Monday, April 11, 2011

Broken Marriages

Roadkill is ugly. A carcass splattered into the bitumen, or hurled onto the verge of the road is stark and lonely. Lifeless. Sometimes I see the wreckage and wonder what it was like alive.

Twice in the past few months I have seen marriages torn to a carcass. Not driven past them, but seen the death up close. Seen the carnage from different perspectives.

Relationships can only bear so much. There is within each of us a limited amount of patience, and continual criticism wears it away. Fearfulness kills love and threats exhaust grace. I have heard two women say that they could no longer find strength within themselves to endure the pain of their marriage. They felt unable to keep loving.

Because love takes from within us, when it feels ignored. When it lacks any power to transform. And they sounded just so tired. "It's too late", say their eyes, their weary, worn selves.

Why do we wait until it's too late to rescue? We desperately wish that it will get better, that transformation will come. Some of us pray and still its too late to act. If only I could fix the wrongs and faults and brokennesses I see. If only I could really see them and not turn away quickly, pretending they're not there. Why is it so safe and comfortable to deny the problem?

If only my helplessness were not so real. I cannot make you live the wise way, the loving way. I cannot even do it right myself. And the community we have, the place we are part of - we protect anonymity and secrets. We don't want to pry or interfere. But sometimes we just stand by to watch the carnage, with eyes barely averted.

I need courage, because I want to subvert the culture of nuclear family secrets, and stop protecting myself from harsh realities. It's time I sought to change the patterns of broken relationships earlier - and to do it with grace not judgement.

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