April is visiting her mother today, so I walked home from church. I generally enjoy the walk, as it’s not very long and our neighbourhood is relatively quiet, but today I heard shouts and cursing from a side street just a couple of blocks from our house. I started to walk past, but then decided to detour to make sure everything was OK.
Mostly, I wondered if I needed to call the police or not. The situation appeared to be that an ex-wife was visiting because it was a child’s birthday, but the ex-husband and his new girlfriend/wife didn’t want the ex-wife there. Meanwhile, the ex-wife accused the ex-husband of stealing her stuff because he wouldn’t let her come in to claim one particular item. He responded that she could come and take everything, but he wasn’t going to let her in if she wasn’t moving all of her belongings out.
Lots and lots of shouting. Lots of expletives. I went back and forth about calling the police, and made note of the address just in case, but as I slowly walked past the house and decided to stop in the park (which is the center of our community), I decided to pray. I sat on a stone wall and prayed for about ten minutes.
And I wondered as I prayed whether it would do any good. Would an angel appear to minister to them, or to quell their tempers? Would the ex-wife suddenly realize she wasn’t handling the situation maturely and, instead of shouting curse words, calmly explain why she was upset and seek a way to fix the situation? Would they suddenly remember that kids were around and maybe they shouldn’t be screaming at each other?
I prayed, and finally asked God what I should do, and he told me to go home. He’d take care of them. As I walked away, I had a moment of Schadenfreude as I thought, “At least I didn’t have to go through that when I was young.” Then I remembered that I went through exactly that, and I wondered why I had forgotten.
I turned out OK. I didn’t have the competing exes thing going on, but I did have to hear my parents scream and fight while I tried to stay out of the way. And though an angel never appeared, and though my parents never honestly confronted the obstacles that lay between them to deal with those and sort everything out, God was with me. He didn’t fix the situation in the moment, but he did fix me, eventually. Or, to be more accurate, he remains faithful and continues to work on fixing me. Though I wasn’t really Christian, though I hadn’t fully given myself to God, God gave himself to me. He took care of me through it all.
I prayed that God would take care of those kids, and he said that he would. I could go home. I got a cup of coffee and sat on my porch for a while, listening to the wind in the trees and the chatter of the birds. God took care of me. He takes care of those birds and of the leaves on the trees. He can take care of this disturbance too. I have faith in him.