“Every second of the search is an encounter with God.” The Alchemist
Our experience of Maine, is still indescribable. It was a dream we held on to for ten years, and really Tim held on to it because I tend to be the one in our relationship who gives up quickly at first. he’s stubborn so proceeded with planning and then I realized that it wasn’t as impossible as I first thought, so let go And just went with it and embraced the fun. that’s how it went, the first three days I was a little timid and reserved at the thoughts of driving around the entire east coast of Maine but then it dawned on me as the sun rose over the ocean that I was seeing the beauty of Maine from a jeep window, with my dearest and most faithful human friend at the wheel.
And then…the dreams. I read a remarkable fiction book, The Alchemist, in a week which is rare for me, not because I don’t read, but because I’m always reading and never let myself enjoy fiction because I’m always trying to better something, someone, namely myself, and so I stay away from a genre that I love because I, “don’t have time for fiction.” I dreamt in detail while we were there. Which, again is something that doesn’t happen often for me now, but there I dreamt in detail. And I’m sentimental and believe God speaks in dreams. I had dreams at night, and we shared dreams during the day with our eyes open, together.
As we came down from our high, the view was breathtaking both times, going up and coming down, but as we were headed home and the travesty of the shootings, and the politics, and the senseless murders of officers and children, and human beings my heart sank. Reality hit. And just like any good honeymoon the rubber met the road…We were back in the face of hurt, our whole human race is neck deep in sorrow. The vantage point of a hike up Cadillac Mountain from Acadia made me feel so small, and in a sense largely free from the burdens that surround me, and us humans everyday. Seeing the world 1500 feet up put my sense of self in perspective, as well as the pain I see and sometimes feel everyday. Who has time to feel grief and sadness when one can look out and see the ocean crashing on cliffs?
What we took away from our experience of Maine, and what I’ve taken away from ten years of marriage is that trust and forgiveness do not come easy. Love, is not free. It’s costly. Loving my husband and learning to let him love me in return has been the most costly experience i’ve ever invested in. And I’ve not invested in it at times with eager willingness. He’s no saint either. That’s the beauty of the sacrament of marriage, broken people in a broken world choosing to embrace one another with and through the gift of Holy Spirit interceding for us, forgiving for us. And come what may, our marriage has made me a stronger human being, because I get a glimpse of my weakness everyday. I’m painfully aware nearly every day, of something that need I forgiveness for. Just this morning I blasted him with a text over my fit bit charger, which…needless to say had nothing to do with him. But he is usually the first target if I’m in a rage. We’ve come to understand that life and learning to love is a messy costly process…discarding my judgmental perceptions of myself and others, namely Timothy (and lots of others) has become crucial in learning to try again, in learning to live, and not give up hope. The sacred space of marriage has been exactly what I needed to learn the fine art of “quick forgiveness.” I’m still pretty slow…but I’m faster than I was ten years ago. And the one I end up having to forgive the most is myself.
The bottom line to all this talk of honeymoons, mountains, and swimming in sorrows either marital or collectively as a human, is that God loves us, as is. The world & the ENEMY of our souls would have us believe everyday that to be loved we must perform, scheme, and strive but God is love, and He has called us BELOVED from the beginning. When we know that, as our identity, and that as the identity of others, our spouses, children, neighbors, police officers, and hurting others…there become no others and we begin to understand we can and we should embrace the art of quick turnovers, forgiveness.
Psalm 103:13-14 As a Father has compassion on his children so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed.
And if perhaps you are like me and need a reminder of how to fear the Lord, how to respect the mystery of who God really is, how to be silenced by the unknown, get underneath a midnight sky and a full moon, hike a mountain, hold the hand of a child, or look a suffering human in the eyes…these encounters can help remind us of our resemblance to dust…