“He told us. Repeatedly. He told us that we would be hated by the world. He told us that we would be persecuted, both in macro contexts and in little ways in our individual day-to-day lives. And then He showed us by dying for us at our own hand, never for a second depriving any of us of our freedom to choose our own actions or whether or not to love Him. Only tyrants demand reciprocal “love”, which is no love at all, and is at its core, extremely cowardly and selfish. Be brave. Love Ferociously. And when your love is not reciprocated, persevere, love more. That’s how you know it’s genuine.” ~ Ann Barnhardt
Today is our ninth wedding anniversary! I am writing these words less than 3 miles from the place in the sand where we stood together barefooted under a Chuppah to recite our marriage vows…before God, surfers, friends, family and seagulls in Holgate. Good Sunday Morning Dear Friend!
The Holy Gate
We had a little “situation” on our vacation that struck the fear of God into one of the “Yutes” (as the Judge in “My Cousin Vinnie” referred to them) in our party. It made me think back on all the crazy things I did in my younger days. If we’re lucky, we survive our mistakes. If we’re fortunate, we learn from them. The young lady in question was distraught and overwhelmed with anxiety. Having been in her shoes, too young and foolish to ask myself the question then I know enough to ask now; I comforted her and told her to turn her painful experience into a learning opportunity by asking “What is God trying to tell me?”
I have come to recognize the institution of marriage as a Holy Gate because it contains so many opportunities to connect ourselves to the essence of our creator. Nothing on this earth opens the door to what Ann refers to as “ferocious love” more effectively than marriage…as most people who’ve made it past the honeymoon and their kids reaching adulthood can attest! Marriage marries us to God’s qualities of creation through Motherhood and Fatherhood. It presents us with enormous opportunities to practice forgiveness, while it teaches us to be self-less. In essence, we become to our children as God is to us! We become to our brides as God is to his Church. For these reasons, God made Marriage as the sacred covenant between man and woman. It bruises the intellect to imagine otherwise…
So in this same wonderful week I asked God into the mind of a troubled teen, I also wrote a letter to another young teen who has brought considerable pain and suffering to his family by stealing from them. “Your mother tells me that you feel no guilt for what you have done. Animals do not experience guilt (name), but human beings in relationship with God do. You cannot change your relationship to God (Name)…but you can numb yourself to it. It’s like loosing the nerves in your hand. If you place your hand over the flame, you may not feel the heat, but you will still burn the flesh… I do not believe you are an immoral person (name). But I believe in my heart of hearts that you need to reconnect the nerves of your Faith.” Note- I received the parent’s permission before I mailed the letter.
Interestingly, I was asked by those close to me “What good will such a letter do?” Here lies the greatest clue in a crime scene that once was a very strong and healthy society. Whether or not the troubled teen or the young thief hear me is beside the point! The point is we need to speak to our children as God speaks to his! The secularists have stolen this language from us so that we have become blind, deaf & dumb to our own children!! And if we are unwilling to nurture our children so, they will be only to happy to step in and do it for us! 😦
We need to realize that hearing it isn’t as important as saying it. Many of us need a “quick fix” sign for our own validation. It’s as if being agreed with has become more important than the essence of our message! We have Cablevision, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert…and probably the most dangerous Secularist of all…George Soros to thank!
Speaking to our children as God speaks to us will most likely not be heard by the outer ear. But the inner ear is the heartiest seed you can imagine. And it is extremely thirsty for the words it instantly recognizes. Trust me…it will respond as long as you are the good, patient and consistent gardener. In fact, it would be impossible for it not to!
Finally, there is nothing on this earth that equals Marriage when it comes to protection. Can you think of a more secure place in the mind of a child than the arms of his Father? Do you understand the difference between the Secular Atheists who would destroy the world to eliminate what Christian Martyrs would die to save? The Secularist asks the world to understand the savage who sawed your 5-year-old in half. The Christian is called to forgive. One is cowardly denial. The other is “ferocious love” at its very best!
Is it not about time to put away childish things and practice the language of Love…again?