My wife and I came out of the post office and headed to our car, holding hands and laughing. As I opened the car door, the driver in the car parked beside me, slid out of her vehicle, leaned across the hood of her car, and asked, “How long have you two been married?”
I wanted to say, “Too long,” but thankfully I used some self-control. “52 years,” I said.
“How do you do it?”she asked and burst into tears.
I’m sure I’ve done some hurtful things in my life to make people cry, especially the feminine gender, but walking across a parking lot holding hands with my wife has never been one of them.
We went over to her. I told her, “Lots of patience and forgiveness.” My wife added, “And lots of prayer and faith.”
Through her tears, we learned that she was getting divorced after five years.
“Just give yourself some time,” I responded, “to try to work out your differences.”
“Too late. It’s gone too far.”
We talked for a while and then asked if she wanted to get together and we’d talk with her some more. She gave me her business card. She worked at a furniture store. “Here’s my number. Please give me a call.” As we were driving home, I Peter 3:15 came to mind: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
When I called her to see when we could get together we promised to pray for her. She said she would call us. But we never heard from her.
I often reflect on that encounter and wonder if we could have done more to help to that distraught woman as she agonized over her collapsing marriage. Perhaps we could have prayed with her right there in that parking lot!
It was a good reminder to us that we never know who’s watching our behavior and to be ready to support our behavior from Scripture.