I was minding my own business at the gym today, rushing through 20 minutes on the treadmill and then lifting some weights before showering quickly and dashing back to the office.
In the middle of my jog, an acquaintance walked into the fitness center, clearly in tears. She sent a weak, weepy “hi” in my direction and kept walking toward the locker room area. I don’t know her well enough to say “why are you crying?” so I just waved a hello in response and kept jogging.
A moment later, she landed on a recumbent bike about 6 feet from my treadmill, and right next to another recumbent bike already occupied by a guy friend of hers. (Again, I don’t know her well, but I know these two people work for the same company, and that they are friends.) She began telling him that she had some fears and uncertainties about her fiancé, whom she met just a few months ago. They’re being married this fall.
My acquaintance did not speak quietly. Neither did her friend. I clearly didn’t have iPod buds in my ears to block their words. They just didn’t seem to care if I overheard their conversation. All three of us are long-term fixtures at our gym and by now, we all just sort of blend in with the elliptical machines and free weights. (Oh, if only my thighs proved my devotion.)
So, anyway, my acquaintance was feeling sad and insecure and worried about some things in her relationship. Good for her, I thought, she’s asking these questions now, before she marries the guy. And (I also thought), it’s also great she has a friend she can talk to about it right here while they burn some calories on the bikes.
Her friend, the young man, encouraged her to stick with it and not to feel so insecure. He said she should trust her fiancé and her heart. Then he offered,
“Why would God bring you two together, just to tear you apart?”
On my treadmill, I stifled a shocked shriek/laugh/guffaw. I looked at my face in the mirror ahead of me and feigned deafness. I looked at the TV on the wall above me, and tried for a moment to pay attention to an infomercial on can openers. Futile. I coughed a few times and tried to focus on the awful music playing on the gym’s speaker system.
Finally my 20 minutes were over and I walked into the bathroom and had myself a good little chuckle of disbelief, smothered by my gym towel of course. WHO THINKS LIKE THAT?!
Why would God bring them together, just to tear them apart? Well, I don’t know, buddy. Let me ask you this in response: Why did God bring together all the gazillions of couples in this world who loved each other once and then somehow fell out of love with each other, couldn’t live together, couldn’t stand each other, couldn’t agree about anything, broke each other’s hearts, broke their families’ hearts, and never found any answers? Why did God tear them apart?
There may be many good reasons for my acquaintance to marry this guy. A good reason to get married isn’t that God brought them together in the first place. Blind faith is also not a good reason. What a stupid, short-sighted reason to have faith in a relationship—because God wouldn’t dare tear them apart.
God dares, and we know it, because he does it all the time.