You might think I’m going to write something about my favorite hockey team–the St. Louis Blues–but this is not about them (although I’m happy with their level of play so far in the Stanley Cup playoffs). What this is about is a discovery I made in our yard after all the snow melted this spring.
As many also experienced here in the United States, this past winter was not the most pleasant winter I’ve faced. In fact, the last remnant of snow finally left the yard on April 9! As the snow and ice melted away what I discovered was a hockey puck. I know where it came from but I can’t return it.
You see, it belongs to a young man who lived across the street but suddenly moved due to his mother having a fight with her boyfriend (significant other or whatever you call such a person these days). Mom and son left quickly several weeks ago and I don’t know where they went.
I had developed a small relationship with the young man as we would talk several mornings while he was waiting for the school bus to pick him up. Our conversation was nothing earth-shaking but I think he and I felt comfortable talking to each other about school, sports, and whatever else caught our attention. When we would see each other elsewhere, he would always wave and smile.
I can’t help but feel some sorrow over the situation for him. He was uprooted from the neighborhood where he had developed some friendships to someplace new and different. Since I don’t know how things are going for him, all I can do is pray for him and his mother that the Lord will continue to watch over them.
You have to wonder how this incident will affect his thinking about men, his mother, and what can happen in a relationship to destroy it. Will he be as open to others as he was to me? He might become a bit more wary because he doesn’t know how long they will be in their current location. He might decide that it just isn’t worth it to pursue relationships with girls and/or women when he reaches that age because of the pain he felt at the termination of this relationship between his mother and the man she was living with.
And that is what happens all too often between men and women who choose to live together rather than to get married. Conflict arises and instead of working things out, the choice is made to just “bail out” of the relationship and move on with life.
With my recent marriage, I am a little sensitive to such choices because I know what I have decided to do. If there ever is conflict between my wife and myself, I am committed to resolving that problem and doing my best, with God’s help, to strengthen our relationship. Now, I don’t know the circumstances between my former neighbor and the gentleman she was living with but I do know that without that commitment of marriage, it’s far easier to just walk away from a person without really trying to deal with the issues that are between people.
How about you? How hard do you work at straightening out the issues that come up between you and someone else (it doesn’t have to be your spouse or partner)? Would you rather just continuing to avoid the conflict rather than attempting to end it? Most of us would and that’s where we make a mistake. Life is far better when we strive to live in peace and harmony with those around us and when there is a problem, we are better served by trying to work things out.
It takes effort, it takes some risk, but the end results are worth it. Living with others is not always easy. That life will be blessed if we take the time and energy necessary to make it as strong and joy-filled as possible.
I’ve got a hockey puck to remind me what happens if we don’t.