I Do: Frayed

Editor's Note: This month we're in a series exploring the joys and struggles of marriage, broaching the topic from multiple angles for the sake of helping, healing, and considering.

He sits silent, nervously plucking the frayed threads on the arm-rest of the chair across from my desk, and I think of torn hearts and how he's grasping at only strings, trying to piece his back together.

"Well," he says slowly, "I guess we're getting a divorce."

The words hang hopeless between us, and I look at him. Misty eyes meet misty eyes, and together, we know this isn't how the story is suppose to end; how five years ago at his wedding, everyone smiled and only thought of happily ever after.

"She moved out this morning," he continues, head lowered again, hands still smoothing, moving, gently arranging the frayed threads of the arm chair, trying to put each ripped fragment of their marriage into perspective.

"Do you love her," I say, not as a question, but more of a statement, because to me, falling out of love simply shouldn't be.

The sun shines bright through the windows, and I plead silently with God to warm these two hurting hearts, a mere thirty miles apart, yet a world between them; to ease the hurts and allow grace and forgiveness to melt them into one.

"I love her," he says. "I've always loved her, but sometimes, and you'll find this out… love isn't enough."

Our conversation is interrupted by a phone call, and he excuses himself. But his words stay with me all day.

Love isn't enough.

It circles my every thought until I need to get out, to wander under the warmth of the sun. 

“If love isn’t enough, then what is?” I ask God as we walk the well-worn ATV trail through the trees.

No breeze teases the trees. No birds sing. And no words are heard from above. I turn to walk another direction and bump into silence again as the clouds cover the sun.

Before me is a corner of a broken fence, and I study it as the sun emerges and plays through leaves across its wooden beams.

At the bottom of the main post, embedded in the soil to add strength and stability, a stone.

A cornerstone.

And just before I turn to leave, I notice something else. Something significant shimmers in the sun, bright rays bouncing off metal and I stop to look.

Two old fence wires loop around the post from either side to meet and twist together, stretching straight down to form an unmistakable “Y”.

I suddenly think of the Twi language, an African tribal dialect I grew up with as a missionary kid, and the word Yesu, which stands for Jesus. Or more accurately, it stands for Yesu ich, which is derived from the Hebrew word Yahweh.

That Y in front of me: Yesu ich. Yahweh. Jesus.

Jesus is the cornerstone that binds two together.

I am hushed in His presence and the way He is so alive, right here before me, talking to me through an old fence post.

 

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The "I Do" Collection

Join us for a community writing project on the topic of marriage. We invite you to tell us a story of some aspect of marriage, whether focusing on your grandparents, your best friends, or yourself. Publish it at your blog or in Facebook Notes, and link up at Getting Down With Jesus by this Friday, February 10. Watch for a post with highlights a week from today (on February 15).

Leaf image by Eric. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr. Fence wires image and post by Duane Scott.