When love throws bows

M & J's wedding. June 25, 2011.

Love's throwing bows all over the place this week -- kicking ass, taking names, knocking folks out.
  • My good friends were married under a bright blue California sky. The pastor spoke about the adjustments they'd need to make in their life, how partnership is hard work.
  • My aunt married for the second time on the opposite coast. I was there in spirit as she celebrated fresh starts and renewed joy.
  • My pen pal finally responded to me. He ended up in the hospital the week of his 88th birthday, and is now home mending.He writes about his wife of 60-odd years improving her own ailing health as she cares for him.
  • The state of New York passed a marriage equality bill, becoming the largest state in our Union to offer same-sex marriage. It's a win for civil rights and a win for lifelong commitment.
  • I fought with Fella about how much I'm traveling. How can I possibly say no, I argued, and miss out on nurturing the relationships in my life, be they with coworkers, distant friends, my family, or him? Yet I say no to nurturing myself without hesitation -- thus removing the one relationship that enables the others.
Love is a many splintered thing during weeks like this. It defies labels and packaging, eschews convention and definition. It makes me want to drink wine, sometimes for the wrong reasons.

So this week, I'm going to give you the prayer I wrote as a present for my good friends out in CA. You may recognize some of the phrases from previous IMS prayers, but the message hits home so squarely in this moment that I can forgive some self-plagiarism.

Here goes.

Prayer #170: So Love the World

God so loved the world He gave us love.

Not just any love either, but big love. Brimming love. Brazen love. Love that walks upright and speaks without thinking and goes where it pleases.

Love that has its own backbone, sturdy and beautiful, that it happily drapes with our stumbling words and deeds so it can go out in public and be recognized, even in its imperfection.

Love that raises an eyebrow when we throw fits, and leans against the door, arms folded, patiently waiting for our tantrums to subside so it can start on the real work of fixing things.

Love that comes inside covered with grass stains and mud splotches, ecstatic at all the adventures to be had and positive there is time enough to have them.

Such is the love God gave you.

Such is the love He asks you to live.