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Happy 7th Anniversary Catalina!
I wrote a poem last year for our anniversary about a topic I can't help but think about when dwelling on our marriage. That's the topic of death. I know that sounds silly, but really, it's true. No minister, participant, or witness on our wedding day thought such a thing with stupid – for the notion of death was written Into the very core of the promises we made to each other as we contemplated our future love together. "Until death do us part." When you think about that, it isn't a strange notion to couple the thoughts of love and death. Whenever we participate in any activity, one of the first thoughts we have is about the duration of that activity. Whether it's dwelling on the workday, errands that need to be run, the
For those that know me, however, you understand that under my facade of seriousness I am all jokes. To my credit, I can let some very serious things roll off my back and move on with life. But to my debt, the inability to ever take anything with complete seriousness can end up hurting others. In this instance, I think it's to my credit. While I wanted to explore some very serious ideas in this poem, I also wanted to lighten it up a little and have fun with it. I wanted to show that death doesn't kill life while it is being lived. So even when addressing the ending of our lives, such thoughts don't negate the fullness of those lives and our love.
As far as the seriousness goes, the poem reminds me of a conversation Jesus had with some of the religious leaders. They asked him about marriage in heaven, and Jesus seemed to indicate that there wouldn't be marriage after the resurrection. While the thought of the resurrection and redemption is awesome, the seeming lack of marriage in heaven feels like a knife in my gut. What does that mean for Catalina and I - what does that mean for our love?
With that in mind, I transported the conversation to a hilltop in Ireland. I imagined the fogginess of this world surrounding us as we enjoyed each other's presence in the lush, green grass. As the morning passed, the rays from heaven and the warmth of us together grew, cutting through the haze. But while I experience the warmth, I also notice that the specks of dew are dissipating, which reminds me of our lives and our love. As James says, we are a vapor that vanishes in an instant. Yet even this is thrilling, as we have hope in the resurrection, when there will be no more mist and gloom, and where warmth pervades everything.
But neither of us know what will happen on the other side, when our bodies are made new. While we experience mortal and fleshly things now, we know that we will experience only perfection in the restored heavens and earth. Are the words and experiences that we now share a part of that goodness that will continue - or are those, like Jesus seemed to indicate - aspects that will come to a close? Here on earth, is our mortal, unredeemed flesh talking to and experiencing each other, or are those experiences and words being communicated from soul to soul?
I conclude that I don't really know what the answer is. I don't know if our relationship will continue in the new heavens and earth. I don't know how much we'll remember of each other and our love. I don't know whether our souls are speaking their beautiful, everlasting language to each other, or if our words are just the compressions of air and momentary existence. Rregardless of what our relationship is and what becomes of it - whether we're counting up our days or counting down - we're counting together. And I love it.
Irish for More
High upon this tepid mount, we make our home in fields
O'erlooking all that lay beneath - land's graded rocks and rills
Through the mist and dampy dew the morning sun waxes on high
As all the warmth that we two share from heav'ns draws hither nigh
And like a speck O' dew in air, our lives dot both space and time
Me lowly presence - graced by yours - our presents blessed with each other's lives
'Til we, whose mortal bonds doth loose, to embrace eternal, eth'real
Travel on and travail no more, satisfied in gloom's repeal
But when we pass into the plane of essence's un-embodiment
Will we still be the same, or will we, from our love, relent?
For you and I, no longer entwined, by the flesh which we made one -
Will we still know the other's tongue, or will we be on our own
Here we speak in mortal words immortal notions, immortal love
But words that fall on mortal ears, fall like a blade, as to time we succumb
And when time has passed and souls can hear true words that they proclaimed
Did thoughts bespeak in mortal sphere, what our soul's wished to convey?
Now I ponder upon what language it is we speak
Whether it's rustic lilted sync’pated song or dreary, drab, and bleak
I don't know and I don't care what it all translates to
All I know’s that time I’s lent was time well spent if ‘twas with you
 The kilts and stilts song was in my head, as we've watched it so much recently. I also know you love accents, so I had Ireland in my head. I imagine being in Ireland, sitting high up on a green hillside in the misty morning, as the very cool day begins to give way to a slightly warming sun. I imagine our relationship sort of like that. We live in a world that is beautiful, but at the same time, cold and often lacking clarity as we try to peer into the distance. But as the sun rises and as we depend more and more on the heavens, all warmth we are able to draw will come and be sufficient for us. I enjoy walking through the beauty this world and our lives have to offer, and I want us to remember that we need to draw our warmth from the heavens to sustain us.
 In the grand scheme of things, I imagine that our lives are like a speck of mist in the vast expanse. James even says our lives are like a vapor. We are a speck in the physical and temporal universe. I am blessed to have found companionship with you. It's an absolutely amazing thing, considering we are very small and insignificant creatures in such a vast expanse of both space and time - the chances of us having come together is astonishingly low. Obviously we don't think it is a result of chance.
 We are now on this journey together - a journey we know will be temporary. While we enjoy our time here, we are also looking forward to moving beyond the trials of this world, where gloom and trouble are taken away
 For as exciting as it is to spend this time with you, and for as exciting as it is to think about leaving the problems of this world behind, the resolution seems to actually create its own troubling thought. If we are joined in this life and we know each other in the physical world, will we know each other, find each other, and have the same relationship in the next world? The religious leaders asked something like this to Jesus, and the answer seemed to imply that we wouldn't have marital relationships in heaven.
 All we know is now. So now, in our mortal, physical bodies, we speak of immortal things. We speak of undying, unending, perpetual love. But as time passes and clarity strokes more and more the picture of our fading lives, the realization of our eventual - potentially temporary - separation falls like a blade.The one thing that makes this life beautiful, is the thing which also brings the deepest pain as its realization draws nearer and nearer.My one hope is that the immortal words I spoke to you here to your mortal flesh were also understood by your immortal soul, and will carry over to the next life when we meet again.
 In the end, I don't know if what is said here will carry over to the next life. I don't know if what we're saying here is high form or low form, eternal and understood by our souls forever, or temporary and only heard by our ears. But regardless of what we're saying to each other, I do know that our time together is the best way to spend my time. Even though it may lead to the awful thought of the eventual loss of us, it is fantastic while it lasts.
 As we arrive at our sixth anniversary, I think we understand the coldness and reality of the world we live in more than ever, but I also think we understand even more the joys of life together - as we look to make huge life decisions in moving to do missions, in raising two kids, and in knowing each other more. I think we also have a higher view of God and his power now than compared to when we first married. I have thoroughly enjoyed our journey, and I look forward to the rest of our journey here. And while the thought of being separated from you in a sense as we will certainly have a different relationship in eternity, I trust that God knows what he's doing, and I thank God for what he has done in bringing us together, if even for a short time, here on Earth.