A young woman of my congregations stood during joys and concerns to share that, after a complete course of treatment (chemo and radiation), she has been declared cancer-free by her doctor. As I looked down at my paper (the back of the last page of my sermon) to record this joy for our prayers, I was overwhelmed by tears. I tried (unsuccessfully) to keep this from the congregation. But it was pretty obvious. I was weeping for joy.
This work we ministers get to do is such a privilege. Of course, I was weeping for two joys: that this vibrant young woman has a second chance at a full life, and that my Beloved was, also, given the "all-clear" this week. It was the coming together of my two worlds, and I was not able to manage it, control it, or direct it. It simply was.
I have just returned to my house in the moonlight; the moon is high and clear, and when I stepped out of my car, the cold blue light shone, almost, brightly. My breath made little clouds. The cold pricked at my lungs; it almost felt like the bright blue moon was reaching into me. I was with Beloved for much of the day after church and another denominational obligation. And, I awakened at her house this morning.
Our weekend plans are somewhat complicated. We are currently going through a re-negotiation of who shall sleep where, and when. We want to be together, but it is not always so easy to accomplish that objective. Having children and a visitation schedule means that we can do this two weekends each month, sometimes three. I have mentioned how Beloved loves her home, and well she should. It is beautiful. It is a haven of order and calm and, always, very good jazz. And wine. And it is her preferred place to be. Understandably.
But Beloved's need to be in her home is a little beyond her pride of place, or her delight in the beauty of her surroundings. I think it is related to the chaos of her childhood, in which her home was no such thing; in fact it was a place of predation and rape. Beloved's home is truly her haven now. She needs it.
My house is organizationally challenged, as I have previously mentioned. But I have a larger, more comfortable bed. And I sleep better in it, especially when I have to preach in the morning. And, in fact, Beloved sleeps better with me in my bed than she does with me in her bed. That is, when I can persuade her to come to my house. This is not an easy thing to do. I try to not be annoyed by it; she really can't help the deep, instinctual need she has to be in her own space. But sometimes I get into a bad (mental) place, in which I feel her resistance to my home as a rejection of me. Then things are painful. This happened to us this weekend.
We love one another. That is our bottom line. As I returned home tonight in the bright blue moonlight, I came from a time of peace and refreshment with my Beloved, in the place that is her dearest haven. She is my home. That is enough for me.