….next door. Now, there is no one next door….but an empty sad, messed up yard and house, and a left behind cat (which we’ve taken up feeding). After a decade of 8 children and husband and wife, they have separated and the children have been divided through ugly court hearings, which will continue well into the following year.
I won’t write about the grim details, and truly none of it is my personal business anyway, up to the point of us caring deeply about them as neighbors and a family that we interacted with for ten years. We saw them through the last four (five, miscarriage) pregnancies, welcoming each new born child into their home; helping with emergencies, answering the front door to giggles and smiles and sharing of important events from the little ones. Interacting on social media (for which the mother has now pulled the plug due do so much hurt and judgment)…. Now it is so quiet, I can hardly bear it at times…..
The house has gone into foreclosure, but last I heard the mother was attempting to save it…..she paid a visit, (hasn’t been here for 5 months)…and she cried and broke down ….yes, it is in pretty bad shape right now, outside, as well as inside. Months of children not having a mother living with them full time, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, picking up…..
I don’t like to see a family torn apart or people hurting, not being supported, or feeling helpless and hopeless. We ALL make mistakes – some of them bigger than others, but all the same, we have our fair share.
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” ~ John 8:7
Just one kind word, one small gesture of kindness, a hug, even when the person was wrong, can make an enormous difference in their perception and recovery. Many blame the mother in this….but there were two that made this happen as the marriage slowly eroded….I do not take sides…But I will say:
….shunning, cutting off, ignoring, blocking on social media networks, is not Catholic, nonetheless Christian. Christians should not shun, block (within reason), ignore, downgrade friendships, gossip behind others backs…as many have done to this family.
Catholics don’t shun. Jesus didn’t shun…he EMBRACED sinners.
There is such a message to learn from this whole event that has taken my family over the last several months and made us well aware of pettiness, immaturity, revenge, meanness, cruelty, gossip and slander…..NONE of which are Christian behaviors. Shame on those participating in it. Shame on those adults who should know better, encouraging it and dragging others into it, and treating children badly, children that have no control over what is happening to them.
I think the entire epistle of James is a good meditation for these kinds of conditions ….
“The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark….”
~ James 3:5
Pray for those who are enduring such difficulty. Pray for the children as they are at the mercy of adults, courts deciding what is best for them. Pray that what is best for them really is BEST, and they can be at peace and move on with their lives.
And may our great Lord grant them all they need, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and resolve to pick up the broken pieces and make a new life.