DIVORCE is a much-discussed subject these days. Talk shows, advice columns in newspapers, magazine articles, and research studies are analyzing the effects of divorce and its increase in the United States in the last couple of decades. Certainly this is a serious subject that does require thoughtful consideration. To simply say that life goes on anyway, so divorce isn't that significant, is to think superficially about an issue that is having a profound impact on society. But I'm not going to write about divorce, its causes, or who's to blame. Instead, I'm going to share where I found comfort -- and where you can find comfort -- when everything has been done to save a marriage, but still we're faced with this heartbreaking experience called divorce.
Nobody expects to be divorced, and some of us don't at first believe it when it happens. But there we are. The door is shut, and we find ourselves alone after years, or perhaps even decades, of sharing our life with another person. Where do we go from that moment? What can get us through those feelings of failure and loss?
Well, first of all, I learned I was not alone. Oh, the room looked empty enough. But I found out God was there. And He does love each of us. Each one of us is His offspring, the child of His care. As Elihu says in the book of Job, ``The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.''1
Christian Science teaches that because God, who is Spirit, made us, our true identity can only be spiritual. Mary Baker Eddy2 says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit.'' Then further on she continues, ``Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique.''3
``The image, of Love.'' How wonderful that sounds! An image can never be separated from what it is reflecting. We, in reality, can never be separated from our Father-Mother God, divine Love. And we can become conscious of the divine influence, or Christ, coming to us right here, right in the midst of this apparent aloneness, to show us that Love.
Some might be saying, ``Wait a minute. Christ Jesus had some tough things to say about divorce.'' Yes, he did. He also had some tough things to say about adultery.
But in the book of John, when the scribes and Pharisees brought to him ``a woman taken in adultery,''4 his response surprised them. He said, ``He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'' And no one did. When they all left without a word, he said to the woman, ``Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.'' Jesus had rebuked the sin and sinfulness, but he didn't condemn the person.
There is no deeper caring and compassion than that of Christ Jesus. At the heart of his mission were comfort and redemption. He brought light and healing into the darkest, saddest hours of human existence. And that Christ-love is here with us right now. As we're receptive to it, as we come to discern it in prayer, it sustains us and makes it possible for us to quit condemning ourselves and that other person.
In his word and works the Master revealed something of who each of us really is: the loved child of an omnipotent Father. And because God is always with us, we can begin right now to feel dominion and completeness during a trying experience. Contrary to the limited, material picture of life that may be facing us, we can be assured that our real identity is spiritually whole. It can't be divorced from God, good. It can't be separated from His love.
Right at this moment, the tender, loving Christ is here to give us the strength to go forward, whatever our circumstance. My experience has proved to me that divine Love's presence fills the emptiness and heals the heart. As Paul tells us, ``I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,...nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.''5 Truly, never for a single instant are we alone.
1Job 33:4. 2The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3Science and Health, p. 475. 4See John 8:1-11. 5Rom. 8:38, 39. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5