We pulled into the courthouse parking lot. I broke into a cold sweat, and paralyzing waves of nausea caused me to tightly grip the door handle. I knew this day would come, I just wasn’t sure I was ready for it today. We walked down the long marble hall toward the elevator. As we rounded the corner, there he stood. This was my first time to be in his presence since leaving, and what I saw did not make sense.
Standing calm and collected as if nothing had taken place, he smiled and brazenly shook Dad’s hand calling him by his first name. This was the only the second time I had heard him say Dad’s name in such an informal, arrogant way. The first was a couple of weeks before when he was yelling at him on the telephone in an attempt to emphasize his right to talk to me regardless of whether I was ready to talk with him.
A chill ran down my spine as he turned my direction. He walked toward me his hands folded in front of him reminding me of a funeral director about to offer condolences at a time of loss. My blood ran cold as he took my hands and wrapped them in his. He tilted his head and looked at me over the top rim of his glasses. He smiled condescendingly while gently chastising how we could have worked this all out in a much easier way. I looked past him to the attorneys in the corner shooting the bull as if it were just another day on the golf course. He took my face in his hands turning my head back toward him asking me to focus on him and what he was saying.
We were escorted to a room to negotiate specific terms of the separation papers. My attorney and I sat across the table from him and his attorney. Dad sat respectfully in a corner chair. My ex-husband then spoke up requesting to read a letter he had written to me. I looked at the several pages he had written understanding this tactic all too well. I respectfully declined to hear the letter. His attorney then took my ex-husband’s hands and placed them on top of mine. He proceeded to tell me how much this man loved and needed me. He then added that in his expert opinion, if left alone the two of us could work everything out. He shot an accusing glance in my Dad’s direction.
My attorney simply sat there writing on a legal tablet. I felt so defeated and insignificant. I wanted to scream and run as far away as possible. Instead, I fought back tears and mumbled a request for my Dad to stay. The rest of the meeting was a blur. Decisions were made about the house, the car, child support, child custody, provision of counseling, and health insurance. Everything was tied up into a neat little bow except for whether my children would be safe during custody visits and when or if the divorce would ever be finalized.
At the end of the day, my ex-husband quoted a couple of scriptures on the evils of divorce, and emphasized we would do whatever it took to work out my issues. He walked away having pulled off the public persona he had become an expert at portraying to the world. I left feeling exhausted, overpowered, and voiceless. No one in that room other than my Dad knew the issues he dealt with. They had absolutely no clue what life had been like within the walls of our private domain, yet they sat there directing decisions without attempting to understand the potential consequences.
So often in life things are not fair and justice seems to be an elusive principle in some utopia far away. However there is a God who rules with compassion, mercy, and justice. The same God who was willing to leave His perfect heaven to come to a troubled, imperfect world is the same God who desires justice for His children. He desires it so much, He was willing to undergo the utmost form of humiliation and injustice in order to bring salvation to the world. I came to understand that a God who was willing to do that for me was also a God who could be trusted to bring justice according to His wisdom, not mine. That night I closed my eyes in peace trusting that someday there would be justice after the times of waiting.
O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear
To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed,
So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.