Elaine and I continued in our relationship for several more months. Looking back now, I can see that our arguments were never about us but about what was eating at her inside. I knew nothing about her pain, only that I carried pain in my own life.
So many years have passed, and I miss Elaine from time to time. If you are carrying some deep-rooted pain, and if you have experienced a horrific, life-changing event, please get help. These events can lead to death and destruction. They are the events that have such a hold on you that it's hard to function in the world. They are the quiet secrets inside of us we never reveal to anyone. They will kill you if you let them.
Proverbs 16:6 (MSG) says, “Guilt is banished through love and truth.” Condemnation is not from God; what happened in the past doesn't have to steer your life to a tragic end. As I told a great friend this past weekend, speaking truth sets free a condemning spirit; this is a spirit that will ultimately wreck your life. We must choose to speak in love and truth; every word that comes out of our mouths should be that of truth and love. If I knew then what I know now, things may have been different. But I know God made everything for a place and purpose. Every event, every word, every song, every smile, every hug, and every death has a purpose.
My only regret is I can't tell Elaine I’m sorry. I can't tell Elaine that I can help her. I can't tell her Jesus loves her, and God wants to restore her. I can’t tell her God has a plan for her life. I can't give a hug. I can't give a smile. I can't give a kiss. I can't even give a word of encouragement. Elaine is dead.
Do you know an Elaine? Don't be so busy in your life that you can't call her. Don't be so busy you can't go to lunch with her. Don't be so busy you never hear her cry for help. I never heard her!
I am forever grateful to have known Elaine. One of the greatest tragedies is the fact that she lived down by the lake for so many years and her cries were never heard. Elaine's pain died with her. I love you, Elaine.