This is a photo of Lisa and me at our engagement party in 1979. Oh my God what a babe. And she’s gorgeous too! Today we celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. It’s been an incredible journey, and I love where we are.
I have been thinking a lot today about spiritual transition and marriage. I was talking with someone recently who said that when one of the partners in a marriage goes through profound spiritual upheaval and transition, their marriage almost always “ends up in the shitter“. That’s what he said. I agree. That’s what I’ve witnessed as well.
Lisa and I have gone through some pretty scary spiritual transitions throughout our marriage, but none as profound, cataclysmic or traumatic as the past two years. Well, when you get right down to it, the last 6 months. Let me be honest: there were days I did not think, nor did she, that we were going to make it. But we did. So far. We’re stronger for it. And that’s all we can ask for.
What has kept us together? It certainly has not been theological agreement. It has not been spiritual compatibility. It has not been authority and submission or adherence to basic fundamental beliefs. We do not even believe it has been divine intervention.
I’ll tell you what I think it is that kept us together: love! And this is what our love looks like: we affirm an individual’s right, responsibility and privilege to search for, find and walk their own spiritual path. I love Lisa. She loves David. Whatever path she is on or I am on is not her or me. It is just our respective paths. I am one of the most confused people on the planet. But I admit it. And she knows it. However, she loves me in spite of it and affirms my search. Because when the sun sets, it is still David lying next to her, loving her and believing in her and appreciating her beauty, inside and out.
This applies to church, to religious community. This is how we practiced being pastors of our churches. We affirmed the spiritual walk of others. We loved the person, affirmed their search and edified their paths. This is how relationship works. This is how our inherent unity is manifested.
It is not from agreement, similarity or compatibility, but from an affirming, inclusive love.
To celebrate our anniversary today, all my art is 50% OFF!! Just type in the word “anniversary” when you go to my gallery. Today only!