Love to change the world
HOW does it happen?
How do we ever get to the point where our choices and decisions spell seemingly irreversible ruin?
These questions hammered at my brain as I read a moving story — related by Steve Farrar in his book Point Man — this week.
He recalled how a friend — a police officer — was called to a family disturbance one morning.
The woman was crying and shouting at her husband whose homemade tattoos indicated he’d probably spent time in prison.
As his back-up team arrived, he approached the feuding pair.
The woman was yelling at her husband to fix whatever he’d done to the car, so that she could leave.
He was laughing at her contemptuously.
She turned to the officer and appealed to him for help — asking him to make her husband fix the car.
The back-up team now intervened, and moved the pair apart in order to try to find a solution to the problem.
Steve Farrar’s friend then spoke to the husband to get his side of the story.
It appeared that the wife was having an affair and was leaving.
When asked if they had tried marriage counselling, he said he wasn’t interested — that he was only interested in getting his “things” back.
His wife had hidden them. When his wife was asked about this, she said she wouldn't give them to him until he handed over one of the three video players they owned.
Later, it was discovered that his “things” consisted of the drugs he dealt in.
Another officer went to the wife's car and began looking under the bonnet to see if he could spot the problem.
The husband walked over, took the ignition coil from his pocket, and handed it to the officer.
He then told his wife that she could have one of the VCRs if he could have his things.
She finally agreed and went into the house.
That was when Steve’s friend noticed two little girls nearby, watching the two people they loved tear each other apart.
About eight and 10-years-old, each clung to a Cabbage Patch doll.
At their feet were two small suitcases.
The woman emerged with the VCR and put it into her car before telling her husband where he could find his “things”.
They then agreed they would share what they had accumulated in 10 years of marriage, equally.
So the husband pointed to the two little girls and said: “Well, which one do you want?”
Without apparent emotion, the mother chose the older one. The girls looked at each other. The older one picked up her suitcase and climbed into her mother's car.
The younger girl, tears streaming down her face in bewilderment and still clutching her Cabbage Patch doll in one hand and her suitcase in the other, watched her big sister and mother drive off.
Steve Farrer’s police officer friend said later: “There I stood, the unwilling witness to the death of a family.”
It’s no cliché to say that the only solution to such a heartwrenching situation as this, is a willingness to step aside from our preoccupation with our own needs and recognise, value and embrace the needs of others. Love is the real deal. That’s what Jesus taught and demonstrated.
His kind of love transformed lives.
And transformed the world.