Many years ago a friend of mine went through a traumatic divorce.
They are all traumatic but his was a duzi: his wife went off with his closest friend, taking his two young sons with them.
So he lost his wife, his children and his best friend in one shot.
One can only imagine the pain and humiliation of that. . .
As if that were not enough, his church, the Roman Catholic church, closed its doors to him because he was a divorced man.
He was made to feel that he was persona non grata to the only One who could have comforted him and brought him through to wholeness.
So, a broken, cynical, lost guy, he went about his life like a hamster on a wheel.
Oh he did all the usual things; had a good job, was socially entertaining; had lots of friends; drank far too much; drove a nice car - but there was an meaningless clangour about it all.
Like beating loudly on an beautiful empty drum.
People who knew his story were outraged at the treatment he suffered at the hands of his church.
And how they added rejection to rejection.
None of the disaster was his doing or his desire.
It broke his heart.
But it was the Catholic church's policy, so thats how they handled it.
Its a puzzlement to me how leaders of churches should handle these things
Obviously, not like that!
But then, how?
But if there are no lines drawn, if there are no standards - (obviously not imposed- free will is everyone's privilege, no matter where it leads us) - if the wisdom of Christ is ignored, how then is the Church different from the world?
Behaviorally, I mean?
I remember also some years ago, someone in leadership bringing a young unmarried girl to me, telling me she was pregnant.
That lass was surrounded with loving support from the church, without exception (as far as I know)
And that felt right to me.
But I was also concerned about the message it sent to the other girls who were not doing what she obviously was.
None of them got the love and affirmation that she did.
What did they make of that?
To what degree should matters like these be addressed by church leaders?
Should all these things be ignored?
Should help be offered by leadership when it becomes known to them, or should they wait to be invited?
And if that invitation never comes, should they just turn a blind eye to it?
Should they just preach Christ and let Him sort people out in His own way and time, or do they to say something to the people themselves?
One thing is for sure, church leaders need all the prayers for wisdom and understanding that we can offer!
Their task is one that would make brave men tremble . . .