"If you wish to believe in Christ, you must become sick; for Christ is a physician only for those who are sick." C.S. Lewis
“Why would you delete it!” I screamed.
I scanned his body language. It was evident that he was falling apart as he reached for the chair, pulling himself up to the dining room table, which was still warm from the meal we just shared as a family. Thank God the kids are tucked in bed, I thought to myself. Depending on what happened, this could go badly.
“I was scared to tell you about talking to her. It was strictly professional, but I didn’t want to hurt you, and I knew it would. We have been doing so good and I didn’t want something like this to set us back.” His misty eyes locked with mine.
“My reaction, isn’t for you to decide, Burris. When you lie and hide, you rob me of an opportunity to react in a healthy way.” I plea.
“I didn’t think of it that way. I am so sorry.”
“Not only did you rob me of the opportunity, but you robbed yourself the joy of being open and facing our pain.”
“I didn’t want to hurt you” is a statement that sounds beautifully poetic and loving, but denies an underlining truth; “I have hurt you, and I don’t want to be reminded of it anymore.”
He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and just like that, his willingness to engage with his shame was palpable. It was beautiful, magical, even miraculous. I witnessed his heart turn soft, receptive, and as I watched in amazement, the fear and rage melted away from my own body as fast as cotton candy when it touches the mouth.
Warmth and tenderness filled their place, as the presence of Another Person swirled about the room.
With our infected marital wounds exposed at table, we dare not run away as the Tender Nurse flexed his authority over the ones who hover our home, those poised in anticipation to divide and devour the spoil (I am now speaking of evil spirits who dance on the open grave they have reserved for our marriage). To their joy, Burris claimed that secrecy would “protect” me from enduring further pain, when really it was a ploy to keep him bound to his shame.
Jesus promises not only to clean and repack our wounds, but reveals that freedom and healing can also be found when we re-engage with our treason, in the purpose to reestablish relationship between two lovers. While God completely forgives us in Christ, it is this forgiveness that drives us to do the hard work of reconciling with one another.
Little did we know, that this set back was no set back at all. Indeed, it would be the first of many healing conversations in the days to come.