Wednesday, October 22, 2008

DivorceCare

DivorceCare. The name sounds like an HMO--one you never, ever want to go to.

I went to my first-ever divorce support group meeting tonight. I was pretty skeptical beforehand. The website for DivorceCare suggests a very traditional view of marriage and gender roles, and the church hosting the group is a conservative one. Still, it's the only group of its kind that I know of within a half-hour driving radius.

For the first 45 minutes of the meeting we watched a video. This was not so great. I wanted to strangle the portly, white-haired video presenter--he looked so smug in his bowtie with his faint British accent, as he cheerfully listed off the symptoms of depression. All the women in the video had big hair and wore too much lipstick and foundation, and their narratives usually went something like this... "I knew I had hit bottom because I was going out in broad daylight without any makeup on! "

But listening to the other people at the meeting actually helped. More than a littlle actually. Divorce is still a taboo topic amongst most of my friends and relatives. I'm used to people looking uncomfortable and then changing the subject. Perhaps they think it is contagious?

I was still the only one at the support group without kids, but I'm used to that with married people too. At least nobody preached at me or tried to convert me. (Maybe that comes later?) One of the leaders did ask if I had found a church yet, and when I told her I was working on starting a house church, everybody seemed to respect this as a valid option.

Northerners, as we all know, are not by and large a friendly bunch. This group of strangers showed more hospitality and genuine warmth than any secular organization I have yet encountered. I guess that's what makes me not give up entirely on Christianity, for all its flaws.

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