Infinity and Limits
Some things must be done properly. The funny thing is, not one of us knows what “properly” means.
Is it proper to do _____ on a date? What about when you’re married? At an Arbys? In a Church?
Proper is an “eye of the beholder” concept; it’s subjective. Unfortunately for all of humanity, there aren’t all that many direct insights about what dating should be in the Bible, but there are many for what biblical marriage should look like.
Is that so unfortunate??
I don’t think so. I think that love is a gift, and it should be cherished, regardless of the context. I think that God provides certain aspects of the marriage covenant to make it more transparent for us to fulfill the naturally occurring desires of our hearts that will naturally arise, and I think it’s dangerous when we do so without allowing him to guide that and fulfill his role as unconditional love (so that other’s don’t have to).
We are all human. We all break. Never running on the playground and taking no risks will still make you break; you will break as a matter of inactivity. If you literally sat in a barstool from now until you died, your muscles would literally atrophy and die. How’s that bizarre twist of fate for ya?
There are so many things to be gained from moving forward. Don’t forget that some people have health concerns that make free and accessible mobility more of a burden than a blessing. To top it off, the route from the main street here on my campus is through upwards of 10 buildings on campus, and it is cripplingly sad to navigate as someone who isn’t used to commonplace disrespect, let alone less eye contact. As if people who live with disabilities had anything extra to be ashamed for.
I’m going to share this next example not as a token reference, but because it may provide some context for what I am saying: I do not live with a physical disability. Once because I cared and no other reason, I went to our campus’s Opportunity and Access Office and saw how far I could get using my arms to navigate a wheelchair. My friend who was with me made it seem rather glib, but I was serious. I got maybe a block in a half, and there was no freaking incline. My arms ached for days.
I know many people who live with disabilities, but not many very closely. I don’t understand why many people my age have such fear of speaking to people that live with disabilities; I do but I don’t. I used to feel shy speaking with people I didn’t understand personally who were somewhat different than me, but that slowly dissipated once I realize that there are no fundamental differences between people, just different experiences. Love is love. And if you live with a disability, you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not made into a convenient hero incessantly, but loved and respected for the content of your character and the beauty of your heart. Nothing else.
We aren’t perfect. We judge each other CONSTANTLY. But some of it is worth lying on the line if you can realize how great the gifts you have been given are in the grand context of life and living. Risk is necessary, so much of the time. If you don’t make a genuine effort to love other people even when you feel awkward (this just happens; it’s no one’s fault, it simply is), then how will you ever know how enormous God’s love is? Or how will you ever see it flow through in a way that gives what only you have to give? There is nothing so precious and being who you are and blessing others with that. And we all have a role to play.
Marriage is beautiful, just like love between all people. Love isn’t nearly as expensive as you think, but it is sacred. Is it wrong to acknowledge that there is no gold standard, knowing that risk is the love that binds it all together? I don’t think so. I think that fear is such a greater disability than anything physical ever has been, I believe that God calls us free from that. Fear in love is terrible, but that is just part of it. If it were going to be easy, would it really be love, like the endurance of God? I don’t know, ask him. But part of me hopes not.
Kindness. Patience. Grace. Forgiveness. Forgiving is only free if it is a gift, and it has to be for it to matter. There are so many beautiful things scattered throughout the world like rose petals. You don’t have to trace them back to any given place, but how marvelous if you could follow them home. It’s a lot like Christ coming back to redeem the Church. It’s a lot like the steadfast love of a bride. There is so much goodness here, there, and everywhere; its garnet petals like lipstick from left to right.
There are many things I know, but there are very few things I know from clinically condoned experience. I believe that trust is part of God, and it doesn’t bear much equivocation.
But the forgiveness of God and the mercy of his Spirit are infinite. Literally infinite, which is an oxymoron, because we could never quantify infinity long enough to write it. It just is.
Love is like that. If it doesn’t go away and it is still patient, kind, humble, giving, free, bold, truthful, protective, hopeful, and simply there, does it really matter the diagnosis? Does it really matter what happens before, after, or in-between? I don’t think so, and I never have.
If you don’t know a good thing ‘til it’s gone, at least then you will know its worth. You may not believe that it is so precious, you may still be angry or belligerent or unkind or selfish, but at least you know. Is it better to love than never have loved at all? Well yes, because you can always love again. You don’t have to love another person I suppose, but you can always love once more. It just is.
A phoenix burns from ashes, and it regenerates, healing itself from tears to do so. If tears are a water that cools and redeems, could it be that they wet that passion long enough to burn off its inequities and rise again? A resurrected burning freedom, flashing across the sky; are you sure that it isn’t a Rainbow? I’m not.
Goodness gracious, goodness was always gracious. Thank God.
For new beginnings, for new seasons, for new cycles, for change. Thank God for trust without seeing. Thank God for diversity, differences, and persevering love.
Thank God for snow and sunburns; Thank God for budding and falling.
Thank God for misfortune and bitterness, Thank God for realizing it’s time to move on.
Thank God for not being afraid, and Thank God for knowing when to hold on.
There is no right or wrong here, but he is also here. His goodness is there too, you don’t have to wither it by making it smaller. It will be more than enough without your jurisdiction, it will be more than enough if you fail (and every time before or after that). It was always infinite, and that is more than enough for any of us. If God loves any of us infinitely, why the hell would we compete? We must really not understand infinity.
All the best, once again, and let his goodness be free. It always will be.