To love.

To love with all your strength is hard.  I've found that out lately.

I went to a wedding this weekend. It was beautiful, the union of two people from the community I am a part of who truly love and serve God, in the most gentle, witty and humble ways. It was a wonderful wedding, and it struck me...how much work it must take to get to that point. How difficult and trying it is to serve another with grace and humility and selflessness abounding. And how beautiful, rewarding, exciting, wonderful it must be.

I was never the kind of girl to plan her wedding when she was 8 years old. Actually, I never even thought about weddings and the possibility that one day I may have one until the last few years. In fact, when I was 8, I was much more of a tomboy nerd. I was determined to prove myself to the world, prove that I wasn't merely a (tiny) girl, and that I could do all the things boys could. By the time I was 13, I probably was more focussed on proving that I could date all the boys instead. But never marry...it was always more of a response to my desire to prove myself, to be good enough, to be loved. At 17, I was wrestling with what that looked like coming out of high school, seeking healing for the wounds. And now...I feel like my wounds are now scars which tend to hurt me occasionally, a dull stab where I'm not as flexible, not as naive, as I used to be. But they are healed over, nonetheless. And I go to weddings, and adore the flower girls, and admire the bride. I seek out the grooms face as the love of his life walks down the aisle, the surprise and expectation and excitement and joy written in the corners of his mouth. And I allow myself to think...what if one day that is the look someone will give me?

The thought of marriage; of the vulnerability and the trust and the communication and the respect, the sacrifice, the selflessness, the hard work...it scares the heck out of me! It is something that I will never understand until I am in that position. Having never been married, I can't really comment. But I imagine it to be an enthralling, dangerous journey, stomach-twisting and heart-warming all at once. And isn't it breath-taking to think of how that marriage, that union of two people, mirrors the relationship between Jesus and His church? His bride? Revelation 23:1-3 talks of the Kingdom of God, the Holy City dressed beautifully as a bride for her husband. "Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." 

C.S. Lewis said “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Stomach-twisting and heart-warming indeed. Painful selflessness, healing grace, everlasting forgiveness. Oh Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This is an incredible reflection on love! I know I'm a bit of a crier anyway but I had a tear as I read this. I hope one day that you get to see the face of your groom as you walk down the aisle!!