Thanks to Facebook, these past few weeks I've been in touch with people from each of my "life books." Most of the time, these strolls down memory lane are pleasant ones. Hearing from old friends -- reconnecting over old memories and new families, and sharing what God has done in our lives -- is a real blessing.
But once or twice, the memories come back with more of a slap than a caress. Two names in particular, belonging to the ex husbands of dear friends. Both men treated my friends abominably, and even now (years later) I can imagine only too clearly what I'd say to them if ever I met them on the street one day.
Yes, I know there are always at least three sides to every story (the husband's, the wife's, and the unvarnished truth), and marriage dynamics can appear very different to those viewing from the outside. Some things are always objectively wrong: adultery, violence, betrayal. When things like these happen, it's hard NOT to take sides -- even (and perhaps especially) when it's family.
What does love look like then? What does "forgiveness" look like, when the person who was wronged is someone other than yourself? Where does loyalty end ... and pointless grudge-bearing begin? Is it okay to say, "Go with God ... far, far away!" And what if the marriage has not yet ended, but is certainly in its death throes? After watching cycle after cycle of lunacy, is there ever a time to look up from your prayers and say, "ENOUGH!"?
Your thoughts? What have you gleaned from your "books of life"?