Holiness is Chinese Food and Monster Movies
Last week was a pretty intense week, for us all.
I don’t like drama and confrontation, but it was just one of those weeks, for like, everyone in America. To cap it off, I left for Washington, D.C. on Thursday to visit our nation’s capital and pray for a turning of hearts and minds to God. It’s at least an annual event for me, and this time it was four days of prayer, worship, and conversation over the issues that affect our American culture and the upcoming election.
Also, it was hot, and very tiring.
I came home a ball of frantic words and stories – to a husband who simply… missed me.
But I missed that, somehow.
All dressed up in his (my) favorite plaid shirt, grunge jeans, and newsie hat, my sweet chauffeur arrived at the airport with heart expectant, eyes blue, and lips ready.
Mine were flapping and yapping, sans lipstick, and I smelled like 6 hours of airplane and had the mood to show for it.
At some point in a pause for breath during my half hour monologue about all the prayers and messages and times with friends and talks with people about oh-so-very-important things that are super-freaking-urgent, I noticed his silence.
His extreme… silence.
And his forward-focused stare into the distance.
And his hand on my leg in between shifting gears as we rolled down the road toward our humble abode.
“Why are you so quiet? Are you ok?”
“Yeah. I just really, really missed you.”
“Oh, ok. I missed you too baby. Anyway… yippity yap yap yap…”
“Sure, sounds good. And then… yippity yap yap yap… ”
And more silence.
“What is wrong? Why are you being so quiet? Did I say something wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong. I just really, really missed you.”
“Do you not want me to go on these trips anymore? I’m not feeling very supported here. You don’t seem very interested.”
“That’s not it, at all.”
My turn for silence now.
We walked into our apartment and I set my bags down. He had cleaned the house and done the laundry.
And then it hit me.
He had sent multiple text messages over the past few days – a lot more than normal. Called me to read the Bible one morning. More text messages. Dressed up to come get me at the airport. Picked up dinner on the way home. And not a dish, dirty laundry item, or anything else was out of place.
And I, for once in my life, had out-thinked the thinking-est man I know. I had out-talked, out-cared, out-run his (well above average) barrier of concern for all things political and cultural and run right past his romance. And with every moment of chatter, I was back on another plane, headed far away from him.
I had been that wife.
The loud, annoying, talkative, self-absorbed one. I swore I’d never be that wife.
He turned me around and kissed me. “I don’t want to talk about anything that matters. I just want to be with you.”
Tears filled my eyes as I melted into his embrace. And I came back to myself, a little bit, and back to who matters most.
Sometimes, in a world of intensity where it seems like everything is on fire at all times, the most holy thing we can do is stop caring. Just for a little while.
Put to me this way, when I was single and never stopped, a friend and mentor frequently told me “sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is sleep.”
If what our nation needs is strong families and righteous leaders, it starts at home, with love, romance, and spending time on who matters. This is the righteousness we seek for our nation, manifested on an atomic level. The family is the fabric of our culture, and strengthening it really is the most important – even patriotic – thing we can do sometimes.
We ate Chinese food on our white comforter. And I didn’t even care. He chose a monster movie from 1989 on Netflix. And I was happy about it – interested, almost.
I have a man whose heart is captured by love for me far above any other cause it could beat for. I couldn’t be more loved, honored, and blessed among women. And it’s not just because we’re still newlyweds. I look around me and something in me knows Heaven has graced us with a cadence that will keep our union in step in a way that many a marriage may never know. It’s not pride. It’s because we stand on the shoulders of giants who have taught us how to love, and 10 months into this ocean of marriage, we are knee deep in the rewards for it.
It’s the way things ought to be.
Holiness has never felt so good.
Question from a newlywed: What are some things you do to keep your marriage strong, when the higher calls on your life seek to rise above it in importance?
August 6, 2012