Walking the Line

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I love my husband. We have been married for 8 years (I know, I know, we are babies!), and every year I end up more blown away at the mystery of marriage. And a mystery it is. That two become one but stay two. Next to the Trinity, this math is the second most amazing and confusing mystery that I bump into and trip over daily.

G and I couldn’t be more different. We lay in bed at night (don’t worry, I am shy; this isn’t going there) and I am totally engrossed in a book on literature or poetry or Puritans while he is being all tech-nerdy making websites better and more visually appealing. I try to be as interested as I can muster in his html language while he tries to not let his eyes gloss over as I read him a poem written 300 years ago.

I like to hike and go to the beach, and G likes to watch NFL football and stay at our house on weekends. Yet we share a passion for coffee, college students, our crazy children, and Christ. My routine and structure has rubbed off on him after years of reminding him that keys go on the key hook and shoes go on the shoe bench. His way of thinking strategically for just about every conversation and interaction has rubbed off on me after years of his posing the question, “So what questions do we want to ask so and so?” I love this mystery that is marriage.

In The Prophet, Kahlil Gibron writes about the tension between space and togetherness with those we love.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you….Give your hearts but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

For a long time in our marriage, I felt guilty about having things that were just mine, like poetry or a solo hike. Not because my husband made me feel that way, but because I longed to be together with him on everything and to share all things with him. But togetherness is not uniformity. The Trinity frees us to have unity in diversity, combining two beautfiul tensions that my mind can’t comprehend.

Another poet, Rainer Maria Rilke writes about “the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other.”

I love that. It puts into words one of the things that I love most about my husband. He protects and pushes me into the intimacy that he cannot provide, that he was never meant to provide. He pushes me to the sweeter, deeper, richer lover of my soul with his earthy, consistent, albeit failing love for me.

Thanks for encouraging me to find my spaces in our togetherness, G’Joe. I love walking the tightrope line of the mysteries of marriage with you.

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