“Jon and Kate plus Eight”
Who hasn’t heard the recent stories, the awful accusations, who hasn’t seen the pictures, read and heard the news accounts, who hasn’t made their decisions, drawn their own conclusions, come down on one side or the other of the argument over whether it was his fault or hers for what happened?
This was a show about a man and a woman who had twin girls, then they had sextuplets, three little boys and three little girls. The show was to chronicle the challenges of them raising their eight children together. Over time, the world watched as they themselves fell apart.
I just watched their Big Announcement Show. It felt as though I was watching a funeral for someone I didn’t know very well, but whom I liked and wished hadn’t died. I have just walked away from the TV with my heart shattered and my face wet with tears.
I’m not here to assign fault. I’m not here to say whose fault I think it was. I’m here to lament that Jon and Kate got subsumed by the Eight and lost each other in the process.
Where were we when the first cracks began to form, and we saw them and didn’t pray or say something? May Father God forgive us for not sending up the alarm.
Where were we when the acrimony started, and we took one side over the other, or we just turned off our TV sets and walked away, dismissing it all as just another reality show? May Father God forgive us for our callousness and our judgmentalism.
May God forgive us for not remembering that even famous people need Him, too These two desperately needed Him, desperately need Him now to help them write this new chapter in their lives.
Oh, God, please take them in Your arms and hold them close and love on them now. Oh, that You would capture them, capture their hearts and help them remember why they loved each other so much in the beginning! That they could remember the God of second chances, the God Who Sings over them when they have no words, the God Who Is A Rock when they feel that they have no place to stand, the God Whose Hand is Sure when their hands are not strong enough anymore to hold on and not big enough anymore to hold it all together. Oh, Father, that they could somehow find The Way in all this, to find their way in You and then back to each other!
These feeble prayers are late in rising, but oh, that You would still hear them nonetheless, for the glory of Your name, O God who puts the solitary in families and makes us brothers and sisters by the blood of Jesus! Even if You choose to let them go their own way, I know that You can heal them and help them find their way back to You and each other. Please heal them in the way that brings the most glory to You.
And help us who watch TV to remember that those to whom we look for our entertainment are souls for whom You died, and they need You, too. Those of us who love You and call ourselves by Your name, help us remember, and incline our hearts to pray for them often, for the same devil that seeks our harm is surely after them as well, but the insistent prayers of the righteous avail much.
May each of us well love the marrieds in our midst and be Jesus to them, O Father, and may we lift them up to You insistently, and may You hear us from heaven and send Your angels to protect them. Help them live in loving, mutual surrender to each other to the honor and glory of Your name, as a symbol and a sign of Your love for all the world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.