Weathered Well Together

This is a special place to be…

You know your marriage has weathered well when love brings you to the place where you bear the other’s sharp word or dark mood, knowing as you do that these raw places cover a weary or wounded soul and require tenderness, not scorn or assault. Forgiveness is given, easily, before it’s ever asked, the scuffle brushed away, no more bother than a stray piece of lint.

via winncollier.com.

… and it takes time.

It takes understanding over the long haul.

It takes listening first, second and third more often than not.

I confess, it means I should mute the TV or turn it off to keep traveling towards this space in the journey together.

We went to Greenville, SC last Friday, just the two of us. We walked. We ate wonderful food. We saw Falls Park and all the upgrades around the Downtown area.

Mostly, I enjoyed that we were there together. The walking, the words, the silence – all coming through as part of the long haul kind of  life we’re living out together.

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Mr. Ron’s Message, Easter Saturday 2012-04-07

We are here this afternoon to celebrate and remember Ron Vernon. He’s been a friend for many years, family in the best sense of the word. We share grief in his passing even as we share in the joy of having him in our lives together.

In John 11:
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26 NLT)

It’s no coincidence that this is also Easter weekend. It’s the Saturday between Friday’s death on the cross and Sunday’s triumphant resurrection. Where most gatherings like this would focus on the cycle of life to death, would bring focus to the examples of our own mortality – today we have the unique perspective of seeing death head towards life. The cycle is turned on its head. Jesus lived life here with His disciples, here with us. And in dying and then overcoming death and all its power, He lives with us still. He offers life abundant here and to come.

The reality of our memories and the warmth of Ron’s life with us brings hope in the midst of broken hearts, brings comfort to our hurt. Today, we smile through tears and heavy hearts. We remember Ron, and we feel the life well-lived and well-shared all over again.

Father, Lord God – we thank you today for Ron and for his life shared here with us. We thank you for giving life to all of us, for enhancing that life by giving us time together. Even now, we thank you for Jesus, lovingly giving Himself that we may share in life fully and beautifully with each other. Forgive us where we’ve chosen less that that shared fullness of life. Embrace us as we move forward together from here with memories of our wonderful friend. Heal the broken places and fill the voids as You have shown you can. Comfort and encourage us on toward adventure and our own life lived together. And thank you for Ron Vernon – may we continue to live out the joy and friendship that’s been shared with us. In Jesus’ name – Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER, Jeff & Kim

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT)

Happy Birthday, Sweet

Today is Vicki’s birthday – and honestly, I cannot think of her any differently today than when we were both younger, both falling in love, both looking forward to a life together.

With so much to look back on, I still look forward to her youthfulness, to continued falling in love, and to much more life to be lived together.

Happy birthday, Sweet.

Breaking News

I hate it when relationships end. Stuff happens, and I get that. Feelings get hurt – been there, felt that, caused that. But we are better when we are together, and I’m bold (or naive) enough to say that means everyone everywhere every time.

Whether it’s me and another, or me and a group, or completely apart from me in any fashion – it should be a tough thing to disconnect. Maybe that’s the biggest pitfall in social media circles today, the ability to connect and disconnect with no muss, no fuss. There should be some pain. We should notice losing a part of ourselves that’s been shared with another. We should want to stay together.

But we part ways. I just don’t like it, and will usually begin to look for ways to make amends, ways to help bring peace, ways to reach a common ground that both/all sides might build fresh on. But sometimes, most times, there’s nothing there. Folks want out. Feelings are hurt. Offenses are made. Words are exchanged that cut and bite and tear. Selfishness and ignorance, perceived and real, take a toll. And healing is not only not found, it’s unwanted. Forgiveness isn’t on the menu, and apathy takes the place of bitterness after awhile.

Where once there was a connection, now: Meh.

I don’t like it. But I accept it. I refuse to like it, but “peacemaking” and “as much as it’s up to me, be at peace with everyone” forces me to let go, too. I’m sorry that it has to happen, but happen it must.

Meh.

CONNECTING GOOD PEOPLE

I saw this in my Twitter stream this afternoon:

I love introducing good people to other good people.
Tue May 11 3:05pm via web

I couldn’t say it better myself, so I wanted to post and give credit for its simplicity and meaningfulness. One of the things I appreciate about people like Sarah, and something I want to cultivate more in myself, is the desire to connect the right people to the right people to get the right things done, to get the right questions asked, to get the right solutions working the right way.

Are you a connector? Someone who likes to introduce good people to other good people? Or better maybe, do people come to you expecting you to know to whom they can connect to meet a need, to help a cause, to scratch an itch?

[ht: other “connectors” connected through this connection – @RadioAlexander, @LindsayAnvik, @calliemiller, @LisaJohnson]