As a young woman in her 20’s, the man Corrie Ten Boom loved with all her heart showed up at the front door of her family's home with another woman to whom he announced he was engaged. Here is how she described that moment and her reaction in her book, The Hiding Place: “Somehow the half-hour passed. Somehow I managed to shake her hand, then Karel’s hand, and to wish them every happiness. Betsie took them down to the door. Before it clicked shut I was fleeing up the stairs to my own room at the top of the house where the tears could come. How long I lay on my bed sobbing for the one love of my life I do not know. Later, I heard Father’s footsteps coming up the stairs. For a moment I was a little girl again waiting for him to tuck the blankets tight. But this was a hurt that no blanket could shut out and suddenly I was afraid of what Father would say. Afraid he would say, ‘There’ll be someone else soon,’ and that forever afterward this untruth would lie between us. For in some deep part of me I knew already that there would not – soon or ever – be anyone else. The sweet cigar-smell came into the room with Father. And of course he did not say the false, idle words. ‘Corrie,’ he began instead, ‘Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting, but then of course part of us dies too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. God loves Karel – even more than you do – and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way.’”
There are so many deeply moving moments described in The Hiding Place, but this one is one of the most profound to me. I believe that learning how to love people the way that God loves people is the ultimate life lesson. When something happens in a relationship that causes a rift where love was once easy and free-flowing - we must ask God to either repair the rift and restore the relationship or to open up a new channel for our love to flow through. We have to want love to win.
Bitterness and anger destroy us. Love heals us. At the end of the day, it isn't as much about our relationship with the other person as it is about our relationship with God Himself and the health of our own souls.
1 John 4:7-12 (NIV) 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!