After completing a lengthy collaborative divorce mediation, I drove home from Alvin Zimmerman’s office past the Christmas lights that lined Post Oak Boulevard. I felt I had just witnessed the parting of the Red Sea. With my own eyes, I witnessed a miracle of sorts. A sacred place where peace was more important than perfection.
Alvin Zimmerman, a truly great mediator with a kind, insightful endearing heart, presided in a masterful way to bring about a peaceable settlement between the parties. Like you and me, the husband and the wife each had imperfections and resentments towards the other. Likewise, they each had perfectly good gifts and qualities God had given them. Just when the skies of negotiation grew dim and it looked like it would take a miracle to bring about a settlement–a miracle appeared. The light of God’s love shined down from above and showered all with heavenly peace.
I have litigated divorces and child custody cases for over 40 years. I learned from the beginning that often the primary focus of litigation is blame, finding fault in the other spouse. As a divorce attorney, I have seen a parent humiliated and belittled after losing a custody case. His or her imperfections were magnified in court. I felt bad about that. We all know that none of us are our worst acts. That we are all God’s perfectly imperfect creatures.
I still accept litigated divorces and child custody cases. But, thanks to collaborative divorce in Texas, I can focus on solutions and not blame in a private family-centered resolution process. Dignity and respect rule the day and even at night in Alvin Zimmerman’s office. I believe if divorce happens, God favors dignity and respect over blame and incivility. I believe God would have all His children prefer peace over perfection.
Yesterday, peace prevailed over perfection. The collaborative divorce lawyers, the collaborative professionals in finance and mental health, the husband and wife and their child had their hearts filled with peace, peace which mirrors that which was born on Christmas day. Alvin Zimmerman has another reason for his calling to light the candles on his Menorah as part of his celebration of Hannukah.
God has spoken in Scripture about peace and imperfections.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, I know that I am Your perfectly imperfect child. In prayer, please guide my heart to see the good qualities and actions of others and not their imperfections, faults, and flaws of character.
God, please forgive me for judging others and diminishing their worth to me and to You as all of Your children are equally loved by You.
God, please help me to identify and accept my own faults. In doing so I will receive Your blessing. In that blessing, I can find compassion for others. Beauty inside myself and others. Instead of my life being centered on imperfections and blaming others, I can solely focus on happiness and Your heavenly peace.
God, I thank You for forgiving my shortcomings. I am grateful that the strength of Your love for me exceeds my weaknesses. Amen
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Ann Boland, Jack’s Publicist
Photo credit: Justa Jeskova