I hung out with a friend at the Mudlounge tonight who I haven’t seen since high school. Later, I considered how wonderful the conversation was and how good it was to talk with her, and then realized that as good a time as it was, that conversation could never happen again. This catching-up, this was the only shot we had at it. Next time we talk, we’ll have done all the catching up, and have to come up with new topics. It won’t be the same.
But I’m happy. I’m so damned happy, because my life is fantastic. God has blessed us greatly, we have a beautiful home, I’m crazy in love with my wife…
Tomorrow, we’re having Emily Manck over for lunch, so I had to go to Wal-Mart after leaving the Mudlounge to get a few things. After coming home and putting them away, I still wasn’t tired, so I went for a walk in the park. It’s pretty, and awesome, and empty because it’s so late at night. The tennis courts are nice, and I’m going to propose to April that we have super-late-night tennis matches very soon (before it gets too cold).
I sat on a wall and talked to God. I’ve been thinking a lot about Christian Mysticism for the last… well, somewhat since I became Christian, but really for the last six months or so. I think I’m drawing closer to some sort of realization about our place in the world, or at least mine. About my body and its place in the world. About the nature of worship and interaction with the Holy Spirit. Dave Gill, we need to have a long conversation sometime about worship (it feels like I’ve said that phrase at least 3-4 times so far in the last two years).
I have loved and I have lost but I have never lost my name.
I have fought the losing fight but it has never been in vain.
I have risen from the pyre and I will never be the same.
I have seen all that is in you and I’ll never look again,
For I have burnt the bridge behind me and filled in that noisome grave.
I have run with wolves and lions but have never caught the deer.
I have conquered Hell through fury but I still can taste my fear.
I have battled to draw near you but have never been drawn near.
I have walked into exile but I refuse to disappear,
For I have loved and I have lost you and I won’t fall to despair.
I have ever been a servant but have never bowed my knee.
I have always been a drunkard but have never tasted mead.
I have studied since my birth but I have never studied Bede.
I have let you pierce my heart but I do not have blood to bleed,
For I have renounced foolish love and on this day I turn Sixteen.
When last clouds wept
Their bitter drops,
I was lying,
My chin on hands, cradling
The face I
Saw. A spruce dipped,
As if gazing quietly
Over my shoulder,
Its limbs nestled
By the water of the pond.
The beauty of my cheeks
And eyes, no line drawn
Unkempt. Beauty designed
To show the world
Where dreams lie.
The spruce smeared the glass,
Droplets that fell like ink
Marring my vision,
Like a refraction of purity
As water distorts light.
…and I am complete again.
She also seems to be really enjoying her new computer, particularly Tux Paint. Linux FTW.
I had an entry started last night, but I decide not to post it. It was written around 11:30 p.m. while I was back at work, trying to finish recovering April’s old files so I could finally get her computer built and then transfer her old files to it. I ended up getting to bed close to 2 a.m. after watching both Episode 3 of Star Wars and ATHFCMFFT.
I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head, I’ll probably sit on the couch with my laptop tomorrow morning and write blog entry after blog entry. For now, though, I’m going to enjoy just sitting and watching April laugh at all the kitties and squirrels she’s painting on her new computer.
It is difficult for me to come at this subject from a non-Christian perspective. When I think about the topic of God’s patience, my initial reaction is, “Well, duh. Obviously he’s patient. Otherwise, why would he put up with us?” That’s what it really comes down to: we screw up on a regular basis, and he continues to not smite us.
I define sin as that which separates us from God. We are plagued by both the original sin we carry from the actions of our forefathers and the habitual sins we commit due to our weakness, ignorance, or willfulness, but God is unwilling to leave us in this state. Next week, I’ll write more on the topic of God choosing us and predestination, but in short, we wouldn’t be Christian if God hadn’t first offered salvation to us. We wouldn’t have chosen God if he hadn’t first chosen us, if for no other reason than that we wouldn’t have realized how good life is with him just on our own. But from the outside looking in, Christianity simply doesn’t make sense.
God’s faithfulness and patience leads us into grace we wouldn’t have otherwise known. And what’s wild is that, even after we have accepted his son Jesus into our lives, we continue to sin against him. We still lust and covet, we lie, we break laws and gossip and avoid anything that might be a burden to us. To varying degrees, we are still separated from him, yet his patience persists.
It is a testament to his love, and greatly encouraging to me. I love him all the more for it, and abide in the comfort of his Church. It is a great mystery to me, why he would put up with someone like me. But he does, and I’m not going to question it too loudly. Instead, I will worship his name and praise his patience. Blessed be the name of the LORD.
Two summers ago, April and I were in Europe and I was leaving Switzerland, bound for Berlin. I was to arrive there a few days before her (she was touring Germany with the Missouri State choir), but as I examined the train schedule from my cushy, express seat, I realized I could hop off at an upcoming station and board a train to Dresden where she currently was. I had her itinerary and knew what hotel she was staying in, and it was only six or so hours away…
Leaving my cushy, express seat, I boarded another train and had to stand all the way to Dresden. But I grinned the entire way, read while standing, looked over a guy’s shoulder while he played Heroes IV (in German!), and was thrilled the entire time. I didn’t need a seat for the same reason I didn’t need sleep. I was going to join the woman I loved.
When answering questions for my interview with Nathan just before the wedding, I told him when I knew April was the one. In retrospect, I don’t think I gave him the right answer. It wasn’t wrong, exactly; it was an answer, and one of the many times I realized and expressed my love for April, but it wasn’t the first time I realized that April was the one. No, it was on the train to a city with no local money, where I didn’t speak the language, arriving at almost two in the morning.
The next morning was the first time we said, “I love you.”