I received a covert assignment the other day. I’d make for a horrible FBI agent since I can’t keep it secret, but that’s probably best since I’d love for you to go undercover with me, but first let me set the stage to better understand the assignment.
I was at church Sunday morning when a couple came in late with a newborn and all the gear. It was extraordinary watching their unspoken dance as mom, with baby strapped on, made her way past the other people already sitting down. Dad got the car seat past the crowd without hitting anyone (bonus points for him–I never would’ve been so graceful) and then promptly pulled out the paraphernalia: blanket, binky, and bottle, arming himself and mom for any would-be mishaps throughout the service.
As we worshipped, I’d look at the sweet newborn in front of me, but in the process, caught unexpected memory glances as dad peered at the baby, joy and awe oozing.
Then he looked at mom with almost the same look.
I forgot that look: that one that says, “we created this together” while also saying, “the sleepless nights are so worth it. I’d do it all over again as long as you’re by my side.”
That face took me back so far, beyond the more recent days when the look was more of a glare than anything positive. Dad’s face reminded me of what once-was, and as I remembered how quickly it faded to something else, I determined to not let their outcome drift to the same fate.
“God, be with them. Carry them through all that lies ahead of them. I know marriage is hard, especially while raising kids. Don’t let them lose sight of their love for each other and never, ever let them lose sight of you.”
I began praying for this couple, these unknown people who brought me back to the days when love reigned in my marriage. I knew the joy then, but I know too well what it turned into for me.
Not for them, Lord. Not for them, too.
And so began the silent undercover assignment. You see, for those of us that were married once upon a time and are no longer, we get the absolute devastation caused when the Sacred ends. In fact, we probably still don’t fully realize the layers of impact it creates as its ripples extend further than we comprehend. And with that knowledge firmly in place, you and I, dear divorced men and women, can be part of the answer.
Don’t write this off as being too simplistic, for if we do, we risk stating that prayer is ineffective. I can’t dare believe that. I won’t pretend to understand how my little mutterings make it directly to the throne room and I understand even less how, once there, they can have a powerful effect. While I can’t fully explain it, there are just too many Scriptures for me to believe that my prayers don’t matter.
So I prayed for that sweet couple and their little girl. And I’ll probably pray for them more throughout the week. Next week, God might press another couple on my heart and I’ll do some unseen battling for them.
Because we know the devastation and it’s time to change the currents.
To my fellow divorcees, join me. We know the battles of the courts. Let’s save others from it.
To my married friends, hear this: we’re fighting for you. We know it can be hard. Oh do we know that. But it’s beautiful, too (thanks to those of you who hold that torch and let us see your incredible love dance).
To my marrieds, I also say this: do a little battle for the singles, please. Encourage the young mom who is frazzled, frantic from trying to make her money and energy stretch to cover the bustling brew in her care. Pray for us to know we’re enough and to never consider trading the riches of Christ’s love for cheap imitations. Or perhaps that’s the prayer we need to extend over you, too, my married friends.
Whatever the case and whatever the station, we have a challenge before us.