In the late 70s, I met Stacy. Alive, vibrant, sweet to the core, beautiful, funny, smart…I never knew what hit me. The next thing I realize we had just finished our walk down an aisle together and committed ourselves to one another…for life.
In the early 80s, I met Jesus. Not church, not religion, not moral fiber, not doing the right thing, not being the right person, not anything even resembling anything else...and I gotta tell you, I fell for him - hook, line, and sinker.
I've been in love, for real, only twice in my entire life. When I met my wife (technically she wasn't my wife at the time...and yet in some other reality I think she already was), and then the second time when this guy, out of nowhere, invaded my hurting world, my brutal emotions, my vacillating conscience, my fear of life and death, my thinking - good, bad, and ugly...and said, "I want that one…the one cowering in the dark corner."
As I write this, I’m listening to a bit of musical melancholy entitled Circle (Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians)…over and over. I’m not in love with her, although I’ll admit to a small crush. She’s singing, “…I quit; I give up. Nothing’s good enough for anybody else, it seems…Being alone is the best way to be. When I’m by myself, it’s the best way to be…when I’m by myself, nobody else can say goodbye…everything is temporary, it seems…”
If I spent the rest of my days on this planet working full-time at expressing what the In-Loves have meant to me, I’d finish my time here a mere few feet into the marathon of that work. When Edie sings about the circle of change and loss and starting over and hope and disappointment, it strikes a chord with me – philosophically and experientially.
For me, this coming Sunday, April 12, is all about the rarest of the rare, the purest of the pure…that which doesn’t change…the non-temporary, the eternal. Profound personal days rarely come my way, or I rarely notice them. I grew up in a tough world where profound personal days meant profound and personal hurt, loss, and pain. I eventually chose to be by myself…it was “the best way to be…it seems.”
Healing came, and comes, in all sorts of different flavors and seasons and avenues - the looked for, prayed for, begged for, the dream…the unexpected, the unrealized, and even the nightmare. But it comes. Even though the count of vessels bringing mercy into my life may have reached the thousands or millions, the In-Loves stand apart. She and He never left, never departed…never looked in distain at the wreckage. He and She somehow knew that more than anything else in all of creation, I needed someone, anyone, to stay with me…walk with me…believe for me…hold onto to me…always…no matter what.
I’m not a big believer in serendipity…let me correct that: I’m a huge believer in serendipity, I just don’t believe it happens, ever…okay, rarely. But 2 days from now the major celebrations of my In-Loves happen on the same day – Easter is my wedding anniversary. I can’t help but think that somehow this day, these very moments, were arranged many, many, many years ago. That one day I would wake up, the stars and the celebrations aligned, and truly appreciate how the aroma, the texture, the color, the flavor, the sound, the reality of true friendship chased me, embraced me, sustained me, and held me…day after day after day…
Happy Resurrection Day, Jesus...my friend. I love you.
Happy Anniversary, Stacy…my friend. I love you.
P.S. After reading this, it occurred to me that I did fall in love 3 other times. Maybe not the traditional sense, but from the first moment when I discovered that each of my precious children swam around in Stacy’s growing tummy, I fell in awe and in love with each of them…and remain forever so.
2 days ago