See how I'm bent down, drawing near, and holding the hand of that lovely? That hand held mine in the soul darkness of my Gethsemane.
h o l y, the eyes that have seen God in her own dark Gethsemane, that have held the hand of her suffering Savior and said, "I recieve. I take. I drink. Because you gave, you endured, and you drank."
She, the one that taught me that I must enter the darkness--alone and apart, naked, tattered, and maimed by sin to find the l i g h t. For the One who makes all things new, turns aloneness into the safe place of solitude, takes tattered rags and makes a bridal gown, smooths out scars but leaves just enough to remind me, "When you are weak, I am strong."
She courageously welcomed me into her home, into her story, into the day-in and day-out life of a wife, mother, mentor, counselor, and imperfect disciple.
She lived out before me the drinking of the cup and the soul feeding of the bread. The blood and the body, week in and week out. Delivered by the one she loved the most and hurt the most--her husband, John.
"Take! Eat! Christ's body--broken for you." Offered by the wrinkled, calloused hands that had held guns in Vietnam, drank from glasses that held hope to numb the pain, hands that had held the Word when the flesh seemed truer than the new life.
"Take! Drink! Christ's blood--spilled out for you." Offered by the man who held and cradled this mighty Christ warrior when the cost felt high and the night felt like their would be no dawn. Offered by the hands that now fight in Christ's kingdom, that drink from the Spirit, that hold onto the Word and see the new life sprouting forth.
For marriage, if not anything else, is living at the table. Day-in, day-out. Holding another's hand that is wrinkled by time, calloused by hardship, and scarred from a history where it was used for harm rather than good. But in Christ, it is holding the hand that is being renewed by love, facing hardship and coming out stronger, and letting go of the past to be told a different story for the now and the future.
Thank you John and Patti for living out your marriage story before me. Thank you for spiritually parenting me. Thank you for welcoming me to the table and showing me the depth and breadth of that place of remembrance. Thank you for believing in me, fighting for me, and calling forth new life! Thank you for pouring out your lives and leaving such a beautiful and diverse spiritual legacy (and teaching me to do the same). Thank you for being Christ for me! Thank you for helping mold and shape me into the wife I am today!
I love you! We love you! Oh taste and see, the Lord is good!