Society has bleached love, taken out its complexity and sacrifice, turned it into a pastime. Writers and filmmakers exploit it for box office success. Pop music strips it of all its substance leaving us with a toy by which to entertain ourselves. We've insulted love, categorizing it as a mood, and putting it on the shelf alongside Happy, Sad, and Hungry. We use it to scratch our needy places, and when the itch appears to subside we are not sure what to do with it. We misunderstand love, or at least I have and still do.
That's why God gave me Mary Beth. Today we celebrate 15 years and for 15 years she has taught me about love. She loves 'til it hurts, pours her soul into my soul. My wounds become her wounds and my fears become her fears. Love compels her to be a part of me.
She loves me because it is rational: I take care of her, I'm kind (most days), and I try to serve her. But rational love is just that: it makes sense. Big deal. It is like math, "Of course 2 +2 = 4." We all get the rational side of love. We exhaust ourselves attempting to prove that "loving me" is rational. Mary Beth didn't have to teach me about rational love.
She teaches me about the irrational side of love, the love every human being craves but so many seem incapable of giving. It is a love that finds you in your darkest place, a place where your secrets no longer have dungeons in which to camouflage their shame, a love that finds you standing there empty-handed with absolutely nothing to offer: not a scrap...and says without hesitation, "Yes! You! You right there! I love you!" Such love speaks more about the Lover than the object of love.
After 15 years she is still teaching me about love. We have had the best of times. We have had the worst of times but her love is constant. I love Mary Beth! She is a precious gift and deep soul. She shows me the heart of God. She is fiercely loyal. She is still beautiful, and I'm so thankful for the 15 years of her life she has given to me.
I would put our marriage up against any marriage, not because it is perfect but because it is just the opposite: imperfect, blemished, and scarred. Because of its fault lines, we refuse to be roommates. We refuse to play house. We refuse to pretend. We have had to look past each others' eyes and into the deep recesses of the heart. And, it is in the scars that our souls have learned to touch.
I love you Mary Beth!
I'm thrilled about the next 15 years!