(Edit: I should warn you this post contains some profanity)
This evening I went to Wendy’s to grab a quick dinner before going to see Beastly with the high schoolers group. I took my tray to a table and sat down, and after a few seconds a heard a voice from the next table over say, “What the hell are you doing here?” I looked over and saw that it was man sitting at a table with a little girl maybe 6 years old, talking to a woman who was standing beside him. He was clearly angry. “This is my time with her – I have her this weekend. You’re not supposed to be here.”
She said, “I don’t care. She’s coming with me.” The little girl looked miserable. The man said something I couldn’t hear, and the woman said, “Well, I’ll slap you if you try to throw me out of here.” The man started raising his voice and cursing. He repeated what he’d said – it was his weekend with her. The woman shot back – I didn’t hear everything she said, but stating firmly that she was not leaving until she had the girl.
After a few minutes of arguing, the woman turned to the girl and said, “Who do you want to go with, me or him?” The girl didn’t say anything for a second, then mumbled, “You.” The man said to the woman, “I cannot believe you would do that.” The woman stepped toward the girl and the man stood up and shielded her with his body. The girl stood up and burst into tears.
For a few more minutes the two kept arguing – I didn’t hear all the words, but I think there were threats of calling the police. Finally, the man shouted (or it seemed like shouting, but in retrospect it wasn’t loud enough that everyone in the restaurant would hear), “She’s my daughter too! I didn’t go through all that garbage to not get to see her!” I’m not sure what happened then – I think as the woman stepped toward the girl her handbag swung at the man, and he threw it back in her face. The woman grabbed the girl’s hand, turned and walked her to the doorway; the man stormed out past them, hurling his full cup of soda against the drive-through menu as he walked past it across the parking lot.
Hell. That’s hell. I’m not taking sides – I don’t know the whole story. But when a little girl has to watch that happen, that’s hell.
This is why I don’t think poverty’s the biggest problem in the world, or hunger, or the environment, although those are real and important to deal with. But the world’s biggest problem is cruelty. It’s evil. And the root of all evil is the love of dominion from the love of self. That’s what destroys families, that’s what destroys marriages, that’s what destroys society, that’s what destroys a person’s soul. The scary thing is to know that it’s in me as much as anyone else. I pray the Lord to fight against it in me and in everyone in the world.
Heaven and Hell 380: The love of dominion of one over the other entirely takes away marriage love and its heavenly delight, for as has been said above, marriage love and its delight consists in the will of one being that of the other, and this mutually and reciprocally.
Divine Providence 146: But the hardest of all combats is with the love of ruling from the love of self. He who subdues this easily subdues all other evil loves, for this is their head.