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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about broken relationships. I have a few of them from my past, water that has passed under the bridge and will never be the same again. Some of those relationships might be mended with time. Others are best left alone. In some cases, I could swallow my pride and be the bigger person, but I probably won’t. In other cases, I don’t think I did something wrong and I know that me approaching the other person won’t fix anything.¬†

Some of these broken relationships are not mine to own, either, but out of loyalty and love for another person I stay out of the situation. In most of these cases, I can forget about it, and it certainly doesn’t affect my day-to-day life. But sometimes, a series of events can remind me about one or two of these past, broken relationships, and then I start thinking about all of them.

This isn’t an issue that is uniquely mine. Scripture has various references to broken relationships – Abraham and Lot, Jacob and Esau, even the division of Israel into Judah and Israel in the generations after Solomon. In Jesus’ day the various religious factions were barely kept from killing each other by the controlling hand of Rome. Paul and Barnabas disagreed on who to take along on one of their journeys and separated as well.

The modern Church also is evidence of human sinfulness entering into our relationships. I know that having various denominations can be helpful for believers, but do we really need as many as we have? I’m a Lutheran, and in the United States I know there are at least seven different Lutheran church bodies. That’s just the Lutherans!

I don’t think these relationship problems are going to be fixed this side of heaven. I thank God, though, that He is able to restore all of the broken parts of our humanity, putting back together the shattered pieces of our relationships and filling us all with His love and forgiveness. In heaven there will be no more tears. We won’t be able to hurt each other any more, and I am so thankful for that.

For my part, I am sorry. I wish I could change what has happened, but that time is long gone and unchangeable. I will continue to pray for those I cannot be in relationship with right now, and ask God to prepare my heart for one day meeting them again, whether it is in this world or the next.