BY ERIC TSANG
Most of us have probably heard of or known someone who has been caught in a cycle of broken relationships. Some of us may be familiar with the pain of betrayal, the physical and emotional torture by one’s partner, the agony of being used, mistreated, and taken advantage of, and—worst of all—the self-hatred, the feeling of being unloved and insecure. This is no small matter.
I have a good friend who has been caught in a mess of unfortunate circumstances. She started with a healthy relationship, but when that fell apart, she began a series of hook-ups and break-ups. She admitted to me that she was tired of being a “goodie-goodie” and wanted to be free. I think what she wants is more than being free…
It seems to me that my friend and people who are facing relationship problems are thirsting for love. As the saying goes, “Love is all we need.” So it is only natural for them to be desperate for love. But unfortunately, many times, love is not what they find. Instead, they stumble upon other people—or things—that seem able to satisfy their needs. In the end, they become the victims of disloyal “lovers,” drugs, alcohol, and sex—none of which can truly give them love.
As their friends, we naturally want to help them, but sometimes, their troubles seem so great that we simply cannot give enough. What they desire is a love that will be there forever, that will never leave, that will always support, that will never ever become weary. Such love, we cannot give, especially if the person we are trying to help is not a family member or spouse. We simply do not have the resources.
Yet, that does not mean that there is no hope because there is one who can give such a love: he is God. He is the one that will bind up the wounds of the broken, the one whose time and energy and love are inexhaustible, whose love is more than sufficient. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst” (John 4:13-14). People with relationship problems may be trying to quench their thirst for love with things that give temporary relief, but as the respite wears off, they find themselves again thirsting for more. To truly fill them up requires the grace and unceasing love of God.
The best we can give to our friends is to support them as much as we can, but more importantly, if we are to truly love them, we should do our best to show them that what they are looking for, the Love that will never end, which is found only in God. Jesus called us to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-16). Let us not cover up the light that shines in us but let us share it with those whose lives are in darkness. A simple and sincere prayer, a well-intentioned phone call to check up on their lives, and a willingness to listen to their troubles without judging show that God lives in us. Therefore, let’s pray that they will see Him through us so that they, too, can witness the light. Only then, will their deepest, most hidden wounds be healed.