Love and Questioning

Have you seen the video?

The Huffington Post tells  the story.   This couple is trying to take a photo with their new computer … not realizing that it was capturing an entire conversation on video. Bruce and Esther’s grandchild put it on Youtube and it has quickly become a viral video.

Could you get through it
without tearing up?
I couldn’t.

I’ve always wanted a friend like this.

He’s comfortable with her
but still polite (he says, “Pardon me,” after he *burps*).

And even for the silliest of reasons, I am moved …..
He calls her “Esther.”
He calls her by name. That touches me.

You know what else I notice?
As they are talking about taking a photo that Esther already took with the webcam, he asks, “How’d you do it?”
She responds, “I don’t know! I’m trying to do it for you.”
He immediately responds with a compliment …
“See how pretty your hair is?”

He encourages her and says …..
“Whatever you do, you do fine. You’ll learn. It’ll take time.”
And I *swoon*

I’ve had many conversations about marriage, divorce and remarriage. And I’ve shared openly that I am unsettled and am not absolutely sure what is truth … right … and pleasing before God. I’ve shared in the past   that I have been of the opinion that I am not “eligible” to remarry. I’ve said in many conversations that I want to be wrong … I want to find that I have misinterpreted scripture … but I don’t want emotions to be the momentum that swings the pendulum. If I change my mind, I want to change it BEFORE I become romantically involved with someone. In other words, I don’t want to back into a relationship and then reason away my beliefs because I am in love.

I have been told that I cling to my belief because I am afraid of another relationship. It’s safe to me to cling to a belief that I am not allowed to remarry. I look obedient … when, in fact,  I am walking in fear rather than obedience.

The farther I get from my marriage, the more I wonder how I can live the rest of my life alone.

And the longer I live, the more I believe that mercy and grace are far wider, deeper and more specifically personal than I had ever envisioned or embraced.

There are so many examples of how different people interpret verses and ideas from the Bible in different ways. Both Amish and Mennonite believe that a woman’s head should be covered at all times. In The Brethern community, they believe a woman should cover her head when she is in church. Even within any Mennonite community, some believe the cutting of the hair is absolutely forbidden and others believe that the trimming of the hair is acceptable (when “trimming” is in fact “cutting,” in my opinion). Some Baptists believe that drinking alcohol in any form is unacceptable while others believe that wine is fine (after all, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine), but liquor is not. For surely my favorite, ivory bermuda shorts that brush my knee cap would be too much for a Mennonite man to accept as holy, but to the high school girl at a Methodist youth function, they would look stodgy.

Scripture tells us to make sure that we do not become a stumbling block to others. Some believe they can drink at home, but not at a restaurant. Is that true of all questionables? Can I cuss at home, but not in public?  In our multi-media world where our every move is filmed, photographed and documented, how in the world do we discern? For even within our car or home, there is potential that our action(s) may end up as a viral video … as we find with Bruce and Esther.

I still don’t have peace about the topic, but this is not new.  I’ve found myself searching for wisdom in others …  friends and pastors whom I trust as Godly. I’m currently taking a class on Intentional Dating at church. I joined so that I could get a new perspective and ask questions – NOT so that I could learn how to date.   I can’t say that there have been any concepts that have been new to me, but it’s been nice to be given questions and quizzes that prompt me to think about the subject. I was very nervous about taking the class … for fear that I would look like a new divorcee looking for a hot date. Thankfully, that has not been the atmosphere. I still wear a wedding band   and don’t plan to fill out an eHarmony   questionnaire any time soon. At one time, I was certain of my convictions.  Today, I still find myself again singing Alison Krauss’ line from her song Gravity,

“And all the answers that I started with …. turned out questions, in the end …..”

But, of one thing I am certain: as I live my life, walking through this turbulent, ever changing world, I have the ever-present Holy Spirit within my physical body to lead me, guide me and direct me. I am convinced that grace is bigger and mercy more abundant than any one of us can fathom. And just as I step off the path on a trail and find myself having to re-orient myself in the right direction, I am led by a Heavenly Father who is gracious to help me up when I stumble, give me strength when I am weak, forgive me when I become distracted and guide me when I am misled.

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