United Church of Christ

Into the Mystic: My Beloved

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We experience God’s love through loving--and being loved by--the people in our lives

Eight days is all it was - the luxury of time alone with my beloved. It was exactly what my soul and spirit needed.

Thirty-five years ago we were married. The joy of that experience still thrills.

Of late, though, I find myself either traveling a lot or working long hours. At best, we find a few hours in the evening to share with each other on those days when I am not at home. When I am on the road, I try to find a couple times a day to call and talk to her.

That is not a complaint. I love what I do. There are prices to be paid for doing it – and Mimi and I are fully aware of them, and happy to make these sacrifices in order to do what we love.

I mention it to convey what a delight it was to have the luxury of a full week alone with my beloved. Time like this with a loved one is both something I don’t take for granted anymore, and something that restores my soul to a state of balance it often struggles to locate.

I have long argued that my theology can be reduced to a couple simple statements – one of which is “God is love.”

The experience of love is as close an approximation to who God is and what God offers and what God intends as anything I know.

I have known the love of a good mother and father – I am blessed that way.

I have known the love of dear friends who have brought me great joy.

I have known the love of cousins, aunts and uncles who were always there for more joy, more delight, and more fun.

I have known the love a parent feels for their children – and in more recent years for grandchildren.

I have known the love of siblings – brothers and sisters who, no matter how often others relate to you because of your title or position will only ever see you as the one the kid who wet the bed, wrecked the family car, or got called to the principal’s office more than a few times.

I have known the love and care of a good pastor – a spiritual guide and mentor who heals deep wounds, hears dark secrets, or celebrates life’s greatest joys with you.

But for me the abiding love of this woman, a love that has endured now through thirty-five years of marital bliss and stress, has left me with more awareness of what it is God, though Her love for us all, has the capacity for on our behalf.

This trip was not just a week away with my beloved – it was a reminder of and celebration of what we knew three and half decades ago: we were meant to share a life together.

I come away from the week refreshed.

I come away balanced again.

I come away grateful for who she is to, with,  and for me.

I come away mindful of what God can do/be in a life well loved.

I wish for you all, gentle listeners, time with the loved ones who ground you and through whose love you come to know your own sacred presence on this, your journey Into the Mystic.


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