In reading passages like the one from the Gospel of Mark this week, we get a glimpse of God’s original plan for creation. It was one of complete peace and unity with no discord or division. The oneness of heart and mind between man and woman was such that the very idea of severing that union was akin to severing a limb, as the two were now one. It’s hard to imagine such a world, as it stands in sharp contrast to the one in which we live; it sometimes seems that such ideals only belong in fairy tales. But Jesus has the answer, and He came to share it with us.
When Jesus speaks to the Pharisees about divorce, He uses strong words to underscore the seriousness with which we should view the commitment to marriage. But He also understands our need for God’s grace to stay true to His plan for marriage. He knows our frailty; He sees our struggle to live in peace with one another. Through His words and actions, Jesus reveals to us how to love as He does. His tender compassion demonstrates that we must also keep our hearts soft, like that of a child’s, not allowing hardness of heart to cut us off from those we love and from God. When we become set in our ways or unwilling to forgive, we risk doing just that.
As adults, we tend to overcomplicate issues and relationships, but we can learn much from these little ones who love so openly and approach life with such simplicity. Still, it is not easy to do this on our own. United to Christ, we can rest in the promise given to those who seek God: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out…the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek 36:26).
– Kelley Holy