Sunday, February 26th, 2017
I was at the first wedding of one of our five adult kids. The event was
loaded with land mines. Former spouses my husband and I had avoided
for years would be prominent. We had just met the extended family our son was
going to join. There were people devoted to science who were evangelical Atheists
and another crew of Fundamental Christians.
It was a lavish week-end event. We enclosed in an campground with cabins all closely connected.
Stuff ensued. I ended up having a massage next to my former husbands wife. No walls.
(California!) My massage guy kept asking why my muscles were so tight!! My husband had to use the bathroom and didn’t want to go back to our cabin. He walks into what he thinks is our son’s room and there taking naps is his ex-wife and husband. Everyone (as in everyone) called me by David’s former wife’s name because her’s began with a ‘J’. People mistook my daughter to be my now husband’s and his former wife’s because she looked like that tribe. You get the idea.
So–It was my turn to speak at the Rehearsal dinner. It was dusk, the swimming pool was filled with floating candles. The overly careful non-denominational, more like group therapist, officiant had tuned out, exhausted by everyone holding their breath to get through the evening.
And so I said, “It looks to me like we are in need of love that stretches. This couple unites us. They are loved by all of us. They can get pieces of love like a jig-saw puzzle they have to put together or we can stretch that love to include all of the differences of opinion, all the past hurts, all the political disagreements and be a large circle of love and support. AND have a good time. May our kids pick the best from all of us and forgive the rest.” What followed was the largest group sigh I have ever heard and the party began.
We need that kind of stretchy love now. You don’t love and then stretch. That’s easy. We have to stretch into love before we actually love and understand that it hurts like any other stretch and makes us sore after—and stronger.
(PS–my outfit was prettier than any other ex-wife there!!)