Out beyond Granny’s house on the farm was a ditch of sorts. It was swampy around it, and whether or not anything we imagined was true, we cousins made up stories about what kinds of horrible things lurked in the murky, dank waters. The worst thing in the world would have been to fall in that mess.
And yet–what did we do?
Made a game out of running circles. Run towards it, leap over it, stick the landing, get up, run around it and back to the other side to do it all over again.
Great fun. We laughed and encouraged and teased each other. That ditch was a source of disgust and inspiration for many afternoons of fun.
I’ve been thinking about marriage lately. I remember well the day I looked at my Fella and thought, “Well, yeah, okay. Why not?” And then we took a giant leap of faith. Together.
And some folks would have us believe that marriage, the act of making that commitment one to another, is a leap of faith.
It SO is NOT.
Instead, marriage is a thousand little leaps of faith, sometimes all in one day. It’s fighting all that would pull us asunder, and taking that leap to honor, to trust, to share, to give, to open up, to love–hoping to stick the landing. One. More. Time.
And there’s a lot of asundering things lurking in the murky depths out there. Sometimes it’s even us ourselves threatening to pull us apart.
When my cousins and I used to play “jump the ditch,” we’d leap and try not to fall in the mess below. On the off occasion that we nearly fell in or our foot slipped and we had nowhere to go but down, it seems like there was always someone who turned back and offered a hand and made sure we got back on level ground again–if only we trusted them enough to take their hand.
That’s what marriage is about too I think. At one point or another one partner or the other hits a slippery slope or just plain falls in the mess of darkness and pain and fears. It’s hard to be vulnerable, and sometimes it’s hard to trust that other person standing there loving you through it, willing you to take their hand and come back to level ground. Sometimes what is stopping us is ourselves. We lose our footing because of so many reasons, and it’s hard to think that it all even matters anymore because all we can see is the mess. The brokenness.
But then there’s the hand. Of someone who loves us, helping us back to where things are good, and we are standing on firm, even ground with them. If we would just take that leap of faith over the messes and the doubts and the fears and frustrations. Leap and grab hold.
For dear life.
Tonight I give thanks for the ones who took my hand all those years ago, and for the one who continues to reach out to me even when I’m asundering myself into a million broken little pieces. With each leap and landing that we stick, we get stronger, because neither one of us plans on letting the other one fall in the darkness. At least not for long.
Love to all.