Creating a Home Together
"Many human relationships are like the interlocking fingers of two hands. Our loneliness makes us cling to each other, and this mutual clinging makes us suffer immensely because it does not take our loneliness away. But the harder we try, the more desperate we become. Many of these "interlocking" relationships fall apart because they become suffocating and oppressive. Human relationships are meant to be like two hands folded together. They can move away from each other while still touching with the fingertips. They can create space between themselves, a little tent, a home, a safe place to be.
True relationships among people point to God. They are like prayers in the world. Sometimes the hands that pray are fully touching, sometimes there is distance between them. They always move to and from each other, but they never lose touch. They keep praying to the One who brought them together."
The above was written by Henri Nouwen -- how true, how true. I confess being interlocked destructively in the past; it's quite difficult, even as a God-following person, even when wandering away, even when you're just coping with the world at large to not want to cling, especially when you've found a person (or people groups) with whom you are compatible. However, yesterday I was truly thinking about how my husband has become my best friend. We laughed at church; we laughed at my son's soccer game at our jokes; we've truly advanced to that stage where, even with girlfriends, my husband is my true and constant, and yes even fun!, friend. I admit that in many stages of our lives that wasn't the case. God truly had to push us closer to one another. The final big push came about four years ago -- it was a painful push, off a cliff of feeble constructs, but, at the bottom, we clung to one another. I'm grateful for that time. God does care about how we love those closest to us -- he wants us to be safe and cared for; he wants to teach us how to love well back. We mirror him the most in this capacity. True relationships, as Henri says, truly do point to God. Amen.