A few weeks ago, in a small-group I lead for non-Christians interested in Jesus, I heard one of the more terrifying stories I’ve heard since starting ministry (for the sake of privacy, details have been altered). It was a story of an older gentleman, a wonderful older gentleman named Theo.
Theo wasn’t a Christian (until recently). He knew of Jesus but, self-admittedly, he didn’t “follow” Jesus. Nonetheless, he had lived a full life, raised great kids, with healthy grandkids, and had been married to the same woman for twenty-five years.
From the first day I met Theo, I liked him. He had this soft smile that lit up the room, and a dignified manner that made me think he was secretly British royalty. He dressed nice, talked nice, and always had thoughtful questions for the group. Everyone in the group loved Theo, and that’s because they sensed Theo genuinely loved everyone in the group.
Then a few weeks back Theo shared his horror story. About six months ago, his wife of twenty-five years left him. Theo said she decided, “She doesn’t love me anymore.” For the seventh time, Theo caught her having an affair, and despite his best efforts to reconcile the relationship… again… she left him. Kicking and screaming the entire way. Blaming Theo for her years of infidelity. Leaving him standing there cold and alone.
I’ve said a lot of this before, but it bears mentioning again during times such as this. Events like yesterday validate what we all know to be true, this world is broken. I hate to say it, but suffering isn’t something that happens, every once in a while, in Columbine or Aurora or Joplin or Newtown or Boston or Moore. Suffering is a part of life.