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O Me! O Life!

He remembered exactly how it felt at that moment. The weight of the thing that had been building up for years and years. Parents think they’re protecting them from it, but their sons and daughters know what’s happening --- even if they can’t say it out loud. When people that used to love each other just don’t anymore, it isn’t hard to tell. Lives coming apart in slow motion. And he remembered watching him walking away, after he told him all the things he was supposed to tell him.

“It wasn’t your fault.”

“We will always love you.”

“I’m sorry, son, but sometimes things change.”

Watching him go off… without him. He couldn’t breathe. Right there, on the spot, he thought he was dying. It felt like his whole world was crumbling before his eyes.

Unspoken wounds run deep. Affecting future relationships. For better or for worse. The words of Whitman echo still…

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d, 
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

There are some things that children should never, ever experience. Circumstances that are truly out of their control that change lives in the blink of an eye. Feelings of self-worth shattered in an instant. Broken marriages do that. In moments like these, we are simply asking our children to carry loads that are way too heavy for them. They should not be forced, as children, to see and feel the world through the lens of adults. Innocence is worth protecting and worth fighting for. We need to and must do our part. As parents we are stewards of His children. And we should treat our roles as parents accordingly.

“For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.”

Malachi 2.16

God hates divorce. And so should we. Bonds are broken. Lives are forever shattered. The far-reaching arm of the broken-hearted rears its ugly head for moments in time that seem to last for an eternity.

We enter into a marriage before our family and friends. With God as our witness. Emotions are elevated. Hearts a fluttering. But, sad to say, some never comprehend that this union, more than any other bond we have outside of the one with our Lord, is a covenant (Proverbs 2.17). A life-long one at that. Forgetting passages like Genesis 2.24 and Matthew 19.4-6 where the teaching is plain… the two become one flesh. And that is for a lifetime. Jesus would say in Matthew 19.6 that “what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Doing so is acting treacherously.

And yet, even among Christian families, separation occurs again and again. With consequences that are dire indeed. And as we bring children into the world, our responsibilities increase a hundredfold. We would do well to remember that proper treatment of our marriages goes way beyond having a good life now. It also allows us to have a relationship with God. And affords the same to our children.

Oh me! Oh life!

How, pray tell, do we respond to those who are hurting? Who feel their whole world has ended?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Walt Whitman

Sometimes the answer may very well be that life goes on. That we are faced with answering the difficulties of life that are set before us by beginning anew. And by putting our hope and trust in the One who is faithful. Understanding that our identity should always be tied to the Great Redeemer. For He, and He alone, has reconciled us with the Father. Even in moments when our earthly fathers or mothers have shirked their responsibilities. Our union with Jesus is a stupendous reality. It can be described as the ground of our everlasting joy. He is and ever will be as Paul relayed to the church at Colossae: Our life.

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Colossians 3.4

Yes, even coming from a broken home, we will discover that there is still a life to be lived. And we have yet to contribute a verse. In Him and through Him. For it’s then that we will be revealed with Him. In glory. What a beautiful thought. Born again to a greater kind of existence.

No tears in heaven. What a comforting reality to those who are broken.

He loves you still. Always.