Wednesday, May 25, 2005

When a friend is suffering

A friend got an email today from his estranged wife. She's seen a lawyer about filing for divorce.

This is the kind of news that hits a person in the gut, exposing old scars and reawakening old sorrows. I find that I'm grieving for my friend, and for his wife, for lost dreams and disappointed hopes -- theirs and mine.

Marriage is a serious business. Two people exchange promises, establish a new family together, mingle their lives and souls... really do become one. And whether those bonds are severed out of utter necessity, as in my case, or out of some unknown, unintelligible cause, as in my friend's, the tragedy of the sundering is of inestimable magnitude. The December 26 earthquake in Indonesia, which resulted in the tsunami disaster throughout the Indian Ocean basin and which was recorded to still be shaking the earth weeks after the event, is negligible by comparison.

For my friend, this email places before him what he feels to be a personal failure, although he as yet has been unable to identify what that failure might entail -- sufficient to justify a divorce, that is. It brings about a complex sense of loss that only someone who has been abandoned can begin to comprehend. It is standing on the epicenter of that earthquake. He can now begin looking to the future, whereas he has been in a sort of limbo until now, but wisely he is allowing himself time to grieve his loss, to recover his balance and his footing, and I'm glad for that.

I'd comfort my friend if I could. But the only comforts I could offer right now would feel like salt in wounds, or cheesy platitudes. All I can do is stand by and watch and share the sorrow -- for both of them! And I can pray, and I do pray, that the day will quickly come when my friend discovers the beauty that grows out of ashes, when he learns for himself that the Love of our Heavenly Father is bigger even than this.

May the God of all Comfort bless and keep you, dearest friend, and guide your steps by the Light of His most holy and perfect Love.


Shirley Phillips said...

Laura, if the friend is the one I think it is, your comments were very kind. Also, very much appreciated by "your friend". If I am right, I also prey for strength for him.

Shirley Phillips said...

Woops!!! I meant prAy.