I noticed it when you slipped your fingers into the soft hollow of my palm, that familiar fit, safe and warm on that Sunday morn last week. 22 years long of sweet sameness, warming one another, exchanging a living heat, created for a lifelong together. The beats in my chest tapered off and a gentle sigh escaped the upward satisfied curve of my lips in response to the slipping in of your fingers. This was right, and in that moment nothing was wrong. “This is my gift,” I thought, “the best earthly gift, given to me to enjoy, play hard with, rest tangled with, wrestle angry with, cry shattered with, laugh til we heal with,
and it reminded me why covenants are kept by the Keeper,
not the ones who throw away.
Cuz truth be told, we would all throw one another away if it were left up to us.
If there’s one thing we’re good at…
and our hearts have become the landfill….
a thick stench rising, choking out hope, until we are offended by one another.
As if bone of our bones and flesh of our flesh are dispensable,
When we are done with them we can always get a new one, well cuz, this one just isn’t working so well for me, or for us, anymore.
yeah, it’s all a bunch of garbage.
My eyes opened on you one day so many calendars ago, and I loved you. There was no way around it, really. After they saw you, they kept looking for you, scanning rooms, crowds, bars, in hopes that you would walk in, because when they found you everything in me moved with an energy belonging to an anticipation, filled with excitement, pressing into the unknown.
You noticed me about as quick as I noticed you and the days leading up to our first exchange of awkward words and fumbled touch served only to feed our desires to be known by the other. After all these years, we still find ourselves sinking into the knowing.
We were made for each other, you and me…
And then you sang to me before you even said hello.
Who does that?
Our raisings and origins and values were worlds apart. Yours was pride and responsibility, mine was a different kind of pride mixed with belonging to a strange and foreign tribe and tongue….people who believed Jesus meant what He said and moved in sync to that invisible love…
even when our house was cold deep in Wisconsin frozen, we still shared meals,
and opened our doors.
and that mother-in-law of yours, well…
she taught me to pray
and to fight
and for us,
and I never saw anyone believe holy words in that ancient book, like her,
and 18 years of that
shaped me for you.
Providence is a strange and mysterious thing and our lives are riddled with prints of holy and breaths of wind led out through glory.
Before these four eyes locked into one another, with the latching of a promise not to look away,
they prayed for you…you know the ones, those other parents belonging to the same tribe who thought you might marry their daughter.
And he prayed for you…
The smoking Catholic priest who opened his home to two best friends a country away from home fresh green out high school, a bit too brave, with invincible confidence, the two of you. And look at both of you now, following after Christ….
These praying ones, these were the ones who cherished life and eternal souls housed in sin-wracked bodies. Cuz they knew how to bow their own sick-shackled frames down low, breathe in dirt and exhale a cry for help.
they got all tangled up in the shaping of our joining through cries halfway up the frail pulse of their prayers, where God stooped low to meet them.
And amazingly it all fit in a giant puzzle that’s so hard to put together at times. It often just sits there waiting for someone to start working on it again, connecting pieces until beauty and purpose take shape,
until you see it’s Designer.
And I cry when people won’t work at the puzzle and throw away the most valuable pieces,
like trials, and sadness, and crushed dreams…and shattered people.
And the most important pieces of it all,
So the Keeper, the Designer of the pieces, the ones He made to fit together into something lasting, reflecting beauty, radiating intense divine pulsing love…He’ll take our pieces that we can’t seem to find where they fit anymore, and gently press them in for us.
Cuz the cross made us all fit.
And that thought we’ve all believed from time to time, that something, anything , is better than my life,
It doesn’t fit! Cuz somehow pieces of another puzzle got mixed in with yours and it doesn’t belong! Throw it away and search for the one that fell out and is hiding at the bottom of the dark closet of your heart, the missing piece, it’s still there!
Grace is calling and grace will give you the strength to seek and to find, but the way there is brutal. The trail is marked with blood and leads to death. Death of desires, death of dreams, death of wanting anything, everything, something, even one thing more than Christ.
So my sweet goose, my best friend, my partner in toil and sewing and reaping, and healing from all of our wounding,
So. much. wounding.
The Keeper of our “perfect fit,”
yeah, Him..when He woos me into that secret place morning after morning, when I leave my side of the bed, next to your side, and you roll over into that warm where my heat still lingers…
It’s there where He fills me, He heals me, forgives me, restores me, strengthens me, and satisfies me so that even when our edges fight our familiar groove,
yeah, We still fit.
I love you, Eric, you’re my goose and my groove.