Something Beautiful – Something Whole

Posted: June 6, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My wife’s favorite scene in the movie Joshua is where a character named Maggie tells Joshua, “My life is a mess,” and Joshua responds, “Your life’s not a mess; your life is beautiful.”  Maggie says, “My life was beautiful.  It was great.  It was whole.”  Then she smashes a glass vase on the ground and says, “That is my life, and it can’t be fixed.”

The next morning, the priest tells Maggie, “Wen Joshua left, he gave me something for you.  He said he made it.”  He holds up a glass angel and says, “Amazing.  The guy takes a million pieces of broken glass and makes something beautiful out of it”  Maggie takes it in her hands and stares at it in wonder and then finally says, “Something whole.”

There are times in a restoration project that you just have to tear down parts of the house.  They are too flawed, too damaged, too overcome by the years and everything they’ve withstood.  In another scene in Joshua, there’s a church that was hit by a tornado.  Joshua begins to dismantle it and sates, “Sometimes you have to tear it down to build it back up.”

My wife’s childhood and early adulthood is the stuff of daytime TV talk shows, made for TV movies, and soap operas.  An abuse victim from a very early age, growing up around mental illness and dysfunctional relatives, it is nothing short of a miracle that she has any kind of stable, successful life.  When I married her, I wanted to take her away from all that.  I wanted to be the rescuing knight who set her free and transformed her life.

Unfortunately, I am as flawed as the next guy, with a tendency toward some mental illness myself.  Even so, I always believed that, as the years went by, and I didn’t abuse her and was always there for her, she would heal.  They say that time is the healer and that time heals all wounds, but that’s another cliché that simply isn’t true.  A person with a severe laceration or a compound fracture doesn’t go to the doctor and be told that time will heal it.  It won’t.  It needs to be treated.

I’m not making excuses for why I did any of what I did, and there is no excuse for how I could have reached the point that I thought I wanted to end my marriage, but my frustration and feeling of helplessness continued to grow as certain things never changed no matter how many years we were together.  There were parts of my wife’s heart and mind that were inaccessible to me, and I had no way of fully understanding the things that she had been through and how they had shaped and affected her.  There were things she carried, and no matter how desperately I had wanted to set her free from them, my love wasn’t going to be enough. 

During our separation, my wife was keeping up appearances on the outside, but on the inside, she was growing more and more unhappy with the choices she was making and the direction her life was going.  She got to the point that she knew she wanted to try to come back to God and back to me, but she didn’t know how, or if she even could.  Christ is referred to by many names in the Bible.  Two of His titles are The Great Physician and The Master Builder. 

Some friends of ours used to have a poster in their house that said, “God can heal a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces.”  As The Great Physician, He knew that time would never heal her wounds, and as The Master Builder, He knew that some things had to be torn down – shattered like the vase in the movie – so that my wife could be built back up, and made whole. 

I called Joe one night and told him that we had the upper hand now and urged him to join me in a final push in prayer to break through and finish this.  He spoke prophetically again without knowing it.  He said, “When this is over, you’re going to have a brand new wife.”  He didn’t mean a new person to be my wife, he meant my wife would be a brand new person.  Just like the yielding over of my hard, stubborn heart was terribly painful, so my wife needed to be broken to pieces in order to be healed, so her life could be made into something beautiful, and something whole.

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