Wednesday, February 1, 2012

oh love that will not let me go

click photo for source

is it strange to spend hope, to lapse into fantasy, about a day when we won’t fight on the way to church?

we love hard, you and i.   but we bite, too.

it’s coming – i feel it – the anniversary of that day and those vows, and i tingle at the thought of it.  for though we won’t dine fancy or lavish gifts, we’ll be giddy all day on the adrenaline of what grace can do -- the 80s movie soundtrack climaxing into celebration that John Cusack is really, finally getting the girl.  the marathon of marriage that groans and stumbles but keeps moving forward, against all odds.

but today?  today is not yet.  today is Sunday, and we fight.

i slam the snooze, in denial.  you wear your most quiet face, the morning one.  he wants something else for breakfast and she puts hers in her hair.  are you serious, thinking you have time to shave?   is it possible, you inquire, to just put things where they go?  my shower is too long, your oatmeal baptizes the microwave, and as we drag a kid each to the car, we are  a walking antithesis of Sabbath.

we drive there with a soundtrack of criticism and self-righteousness blaring in our ears.

how the devil  loves a bargain:  and in attacking marriage, he scores a two for one.

sigh.  at least our car is headed in the right direction.

for it’s there, with the kids name-tagged and dispersed, with the lights low and the truth in our ears, that the real battle being fought on Sundays makes itself known.

we need that singing, that sermon, that silence … not to fix our marriage, but to fix our eyes on One who loves us – the always late, the ever impatient, the too much and the not enough of us – and who offers us, at the Table we approach together, a taste of Love that surpasses the love we can offer, even hard as we’re trying.

we walk the aisle to table, and i try to quiet memory of your critical words while tracing the crevices in your palm.  your hand is stiff – your jaw, too, and i am thankful for just music and no words. 
together, we plunge shard of bread into dark of juice and it nearly crumbles from the weight … and don’t i know this crumbling feeling, too?  how  the mystery of tender mercy saturates -- leaves me undone?

my jaw clenches, then releases.  bitter of yeast and sweet of berry.

i take.  and eat.

and as we turn, i find your hand is warm

and firm

and you hold

and He holds

and we hold

and taste death

and pray life

and walk this aisle in metaphor and mystery ... like the day we married,

and  this is my body, broken for you
and  this is the new covenant  of my blood …
a table prepared so that we might
and eat.
and find marriage, in all its bitter, to be sweet.

linking today with sweet emily, of  imperfect prose, who is a treasure.  do pay her a visit.


  1. This is beautiful KeLi. A gentle truthful reflection of life - bitter and sweet.

  2. love this. at my church on sunday we participated in communion and the message was about us, the bride of christ, the church. This is a beautiful reflection of our relationship to Christ. Thank you

  3. You rock it yet again Miss Keli. Forwarding this to a friend right this minute.

  4. you too are a treasure. bare honesty bathed in such hope. i'm glad for this post today.

  5. keli, I subscribed by e-mail when you guest posted for Emily & I know that you don't post often but I LOVE whenever you do. Today is no exception, thank you for the real, the grace, the truth spoken here:}

  6. i don't know what to say. this was so true and so me and so profound. I thank you for writing this. Seriously.

  7. i felt this one with every ounce of me. the antithesis of sabbath... why is it always on sundays? perhaps the same reason we get sick when we finally have a holiday? because we're in shock from the rest? oh keLi, i love your words. keep writing friend. you are such a gift.

  8. Every moment pivotal. Somewhere in all the counterpoint we become present in every moment. You tease this out so perfectly.

  9. yes. in this, in Him, we have life. we know life. and love...

  10. oh, this is love. In the battle, the the sea within ourselves to get to each other. Thank you for these beautiful words.

  11. a walking antithesis of Sabbath - love that - and who among us cannot relate. Relate also to the way we need worship and community to help us see, get back to the one who loves us most deeply. Beautiful. My first time here. Found you through the Run a Muck. So glad to find your lovely place here.

  12. This is ridiculously amazing...Wow, wow, and more wow! Next time I walk the aisle for communion I will not look at it the same. Thank you! I hope that you will consider sharing with our new community Painting Prose! I would love to share your words with others!