Wednesday, April 28, 2010

True Love is Always Steadfast and Chooses Life

Just recently my marriage partner, aka husband (I can hardly keep up with gender role diversity!) said something beautiful and true.

We were engaging in a regular practice at our Education for Ministry (EfM) group. We call it spoking in. Doing spokes is a metaphor for checking in or getting on board together after we have prayed and before we begin the theological reflection for the day.

Spoking-in is a metaphor. It brings to mind the image of a wheel with a sturdy rim and center and many spokes to connect center to outer edges. For us the center is Christ, the rim is the huge embrace of Godde keeping it all safe and moving, and our lives with all their many complexities are the spokes.

Often we mentors offer a suggestion or question to focus the group’s spokes. This week the question came from a scriptural invitation. It contains promise and consequence in the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 30:19) who tells the faithful: “See, I have set before you life and death, good and evil, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live . . .”

We asked the group to share a time, recent or distant, when they had made a conscious decision to choose life. (It’s an easy question—and not, if you dare to think about it.) Responses ranged from taking a pass and time to reflect, to recalling major life choices, to sharing choices still beset with uncertainty.

My husband, co-mentor and brother priest responded with care saying something like: “Over the years I have chosen life many times as a father. I have chosen life by choosing to let my children have their own lives, that they may live. I have chosen to be steadfast in love and keep connection rather than to try to intervene or control.”

I felt tears as I listened to this fatherly love.

I have watched this style of his and seen his frustrations too, and my own. Why didn’t you say something? How come you didn’t ask?

I also felt some envy since I can be a mother whose love blurts and blats my own thoughts or anxieties. Maybe it’s my chatty gender. Many times I am quite wise in spite of it all.

There’s a place for all style and kinds of love of course, and all kinds are held in the mystery of divine love which supports us from within in the courage to speak out as well as the serenity to accept and wait.

All true love is steadfast; all true love chooses life.