“When the flood calls you have no home you have no walls.
In the thunder crash, you’re a thousand lives within a flash.”
Fall fell hard over this past holiday weekend. We watched Hurricane Matthew roll through Haiti and make its way up our eastern seaboard. It brought with it torrential rains, wind, and flooding. When the storms subsided, the sun came back out and the autumn temperatures crept in.
My heart goes out to Haiti with its high death toll and devastation. Such weather knows no borders. The U.S. was not spared its casualties and damage as well. Some who had sought high ground that normally was safe this time of year now found themselves stranded by floods from swollen rivers. Despite the destruction, it wasn't as bad as it might have been. It was not unreasonable for most of us to think, "At least this wasn't as bad as Sandy..."
In my case, on that Columbus day/Canadian Thanksgiving Day I watched a tree outside a family friend’s home be cut down and reduced to a stump. Previously, it had obstructed the electrical wires outside the home. Its removal opened the view to the front of the house. Sunlight came streaming in bringing with it fresh breezes and a clean vista. Unfortunately, it also brought with it a reminder that what takes time to grow up strong can also, due to changes in circumstances, be cut down and removed.
“Don’t be afraid to cry in what you see.
The actor’s gone there’s only you and me.”
This family is very close to me. They are going through a rough patch dramatically altering the marriage and family they have built together over the years. Seeing their home clearly also reveals all the unseen cracks and places in need of repair. Seeing how quickly obstacles can be removed is both devastating and enabling of a false hope that solutions to marital problems are similarly quick and easy.
In my work, I encounter many families with children of divorce, separation, single parenting. I have encountered powerful stories of God’s grace alive as these children and parents, who are often stigmatized or made to feel unwelcome elsewhere, seek to celebrate sacraments and continue their faith life amidst the complicated pain of marital strife. But I have also seen my equal share of parents who turn on each other or children who are split and broken up in this sad break up process.
“And if we break before the dawn, we’ll use up what we used to be.”
[Tweet "Separation + divorce is messy...Everyone's imperfections contribute to the breakdown. @tribeplatypus"]
As with all things in life, it is messy and not an easy thing. There is no easy wrong and right. Everyone’s imperfections contribute to the breakdown. Some families come back stronger. Some do not. While adults struggle through what their needs are for their own health and well-being, children too are at risk for being neglected or exposed to the wrong lessons from a difficult outcome.
Please pray with me that children exposed to the adult trials of the world
Still are able to believe that Love, Trust, Commitment do exist.
Despite the imperfections in the world and people they know
Their faith is not in vain.
Italicized quotes in article are from Peter Gabriel’s Here Comes the Flood.
Copyright © 2016 Jay Cuasay
About the Author
Jay Cuasay is a freelance writer on religion, interfaith relations, and culture. A post-Vatican II Catholic father with a Jewish spouse, he is deeply influenced by Christian mysticism and Zen Buddhism. He was a regular columnist on Catholicism for examiner.com and a moderator and contributor to several groups on LinkedIn. His LTEs on film and Jewish Catholic relations have been published in America and Commonweal. Jay ministered to English and Spanish families at a Franciscan parish for 13 years. He can be reached at TribePlatypus.com.