Thursday, May 13, 2010
ETCHED IN STONE KIND OF LOVE
When I looked up the young woman sitting across from me had tears streaming down her cheeks. Very attractive, educated, sweet husband, darling kids....what could be wrong? She confided to me that she was having an affair and the excitement was not worth the guilt. She poured out the details, more than I wanted to hear, more than I wanted to believe. There was no one to blame but herself and she was feeling miserable. After comforting her and crying a tear or two myself, I told her I had a plan. I would wait for her as she gathered her phone and went to a quiet place nearby. She would call the young man that she'd been seeing and tell him that the affair had ended at that moment, that she would never be meeting him again. I would wait. I promised that I would become her best friend, cry with her, stand beside her and encourage her. She would have to tell her husband the story when she was strong enough. We would pray together that he would have the strength to forgive her. She agreed!
After a few minutes she returned to the table with a visible change in her countenance. A load had been lifted but the hard part was yet to come. I held her hand as she cried some more. I had no idea how this was going to play out. It could go either way, a beautiful reconciliation or perhaps a divorce was in her future. As the days and weeks went by I checked in on her regularly. Her smile returned and the happiness she'd once known was present again. She and her husband had long talks and he reached down into the depth of his soul and forgave. Their marriage was held together by tears and sheer will. Eventually I saw her less and less but often wondered how they were faring. Years later I received a lovely note telling me that they'd had another beautiful child and that their marriage was stronger than she'd ever imagined it could be. She was blissfully happy with the husband of her youth. She thanked me profusely.
I love to think about her and the results that come when doing the right thing is so difficult. Not knowing the results beforehand is frightening! There are no promises that "things will be fine." It's hard to admit a terrible mistake has occurred and there's no one else to blame, and it's hard to confront someone who desperately wants to be confronted. It's a blending of grace and truth. Grace to continue to love without judging and without compromising the truth.
Love can survive if given the chance.
We sure can get ourselves into some "fixes".....but thank God for second chances, and third and fourth and .......etc.