Tag Archiv: Hallmark

Valentine Attempts to Ponder Human Love

Lovers on a swing painting from http://www.mypublicdomainpictures.com/2013/09/lovers-on-swing-painting.html

Lovers on a swing painting from http://www.mypublicdomainpictures.com/2013/09/lovers-on-swing-painting.html

Love is complicated at the same time it is simple. I have not had a banner week. Or two. Or so. You could say I’m not myself or you could say I’m experiencing my least put together self for far too many days in a row. Whatever you call it, the result is the same floundering me. I prefer public swearing to public tears. The first craves a showing; neither seem suitable most places I find myself. Privately I am acquainted with both.

I spent hours starting multiple posts about Valentine’s Day. It isn’t the most important date on my calendar. Hallmark irritates me no end. But for homemade cards from my kids and surprises from my husband, I like it. Valentine’s Day with a surprise candlelight breakfast from my mother is a highlight of childhood memories. Yet none of this was enough to save my multiple half pieces with no place to go.

My husband is halfway through some cataract surgeries. His vision is expected to be much brighter and I can’t help wondering what impact this will have on me and us. Will it be a good thing if he can see me better? Is life a series of ongoing cataract removals in order to really see each other?¬†This is the kind of thing I think about while he ponders gas prices. And why our conversations have so many non sequiturs.

I am often the push behind the party within the family. I don’t have anything planned for Valentines this year. I might still think of something. Or I might show up and need them more than they need me for a little while. I don’t write about my husband very frequently. The depth of how I feel about him is difficult to access. On some days, his human failings drive me to distraction. On my worst days, there is nothing I want except to hear his voice, have him in the room, tell him it is so. In the movies this would be because when I pour out my heart, he pauses while the music plays, understands what I mean by what I do and don’t say, and responds with everything I both want and need to hear.

In real life, he tries very hard to understand me but sometimes can’t. Every once in a while he says exactly the right thing. More often he worries in the middle of my crisis that we need to change the oil on the car or that there’s a crack in the chicken’s water feeder. Always, he says I love you. Even if I know what it is, rarely can he fix the problem, but always and forever he waits with me. It is this in our marriage that I treasure above all, his unfailing presence.

I watch him and learn. When love cannot fix it, love waits. When love has no idea what to do, love waits. Love waits because it knows it can survive longer than whatever else is filling up the current spaces. Compassion, empathy, and a ready knight on noble steed to battle all, love waits.

Running and Pentecost

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I have been thinking a lot about Pentecost.¬† I got hung up a little bit wondering why it was so small. How, I wondered, could the observance of an event that kicked off the official start of the largest, most enduring organization on earth range from a blip of remembrance to blank stares? Shouldn’t the birthday of the Christian church be a big deal?

But wanting to march in too many parades is a quick way to wind up miserable. Besides, the truth is, Pentecost passed me without much notice last year and some years before that. This year, there’s an inexplicable Pentecost bee in my bonnet. The buzz has been impossible to ignore, so I have been pondering Pentecost and what it means that God gives us mystery.

Pentecost is a bit like God showing up one day at the door with a gift, invisible of course, but no denying its existence, we can feel the weight in our hands. God says we need the gift, He loves us, and then He leaves.

Don’t worry about how everything turns out, He tosses over his shoulder. You’ve got the gift now.

For the rest of your life you know what the gift is, sort of, but you have no clue what the gift is exactly. What you do know is that since you received the gift, you are not the same as you were before. Sometimes you actually know this, like you know that standing in the sun feels warm, other times it’s a matter of faith. A lot of times you can’t see clearly what the gift is giving now as much as you can see it looking back at then.

Which I guess answers my own question about why the whole celebration has never really caught on that widely or crossed over into mainstream culture. If you tried to sell it to Hallmark they would have no way of making it tidy. If you think about it too long, Pentecost is a bit unsettling. It’s not a warm greeting card kind of feeling.

Pentecost says, Jesus came as one of you, but I remain beyond what you can imagine. You accepted a baby. Well done. Now let me set you aflame with the fire of Me. Afterwards, you will never be the same. Flesh and blood. Mystery. Forever and ever intertwined. Yes?

Pentecost is a voice on the wind. Whispers of a love that roars and takes no prisoners. One minute tearing you off your feet. Teaching you to walk again. Asking you to run. Another minute gently wiping your tears, sitting vigil with you at your private groanings.

The only question about Pentecost really, is which way to run. As far away as possible, or headlong into the wind?