Digging Deeper

A bruised palm—allowing God to be enough.

Their marriage was a nightmare marked with broken promises and recurring unfaithfulness. Every offense pounded the harshness of the greatest storm a married couple could endure. As each ordeal settled, Lori attempted to gather the shattered pieces of her hopes and dreams once more.

Lori kept the painful secret of her husband's adultery for many years. Although she and her husband had been in our small group for nearly two years, she never spoke of her private pain. She and John came on time to each meeting, joined the fellowship, prayed and sang during worship and always participated in the Bible study. They even laughed and teased each other. Though the town gossips spread bits and pieces of their painful story, I could only wait and pray for one of them to share when the time was right.

Feeling humiliated and alone, Lori finally came to unravel her story. Over freshly baked cookies and decaffeinated coffee, she slowly revealed each piece of her broken heart. She groped for words, struggling to break through her emotions. My heart filled with compassion I have never known as I watched the agony in her eyes. My heart was heavy and my soul was grieved. I was not angry with Lori's husband, because I saw how he was drowning in his own pool of unconfessed sins and unrevealed misery. Dumbfounded, I realized the torment these two people had lived with for so long; I mentally gathered the words I could offer as a balm to her wounds. The most I could do was listen. I became frustrated with the few words that failed to soothe her sorrow or mend her brokenness. At the end of her story, I held her hands, and we prayed. Then, I watched her walk out the door, and the chill of the winter night summed up their present lives—cold and ...

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