It's ten years, officially, and so far so good. Our anniversary trip was flat-out wonderful- we had a great time in beautiful Mystic, CT eating great food, staying at a lovely (and quirky) inn, people-watching at Foxwoods (we didn't play even one slot machine!) and driving the countryside. Even the parts of the trip where we were just resting or reading or exploring were fun and I loved each minute of it. We had a delicious and decadent (for us!) dinner on our anniversary night. As great as it was, I was happy to come home to our comfy place and see the kitties, who missed us terribly, it was clear.
On the last day in CT, we got up and went to a local spa for a massage! Well, two massages. One each! And this leads me to my point for this blog entry, as I had a big religious epiphany during my massage. My massage-therapist was a lovely, soothing woman who made me feel comfortable, relaxed, and pampered. Her movements were never harsh, even when she was working on my tough spots. I was compliant and happy to have her move even my arms and legs when needed, and I just closed my eyes and floated along. I thought silently, "massage-therapist-lady, I love you. I will turn in whichever direction you move me, and I want to be the best massage client ever, because you, to me, are wonderful." And then it hit me, this is what we want God to be. We want God to be soothing and comforting and always making us feel better, never allowing us to feel pain. We want angelic music in the background and we want God to just gently turn us in the right direction. And we'll go! We'll gladly go limp and let God do the work. If it were only like that, we'd be compliant and trusting, and we'd want to be the best followers ever, because it is all so lovely and comfortable.
Oh, but my friends, this is not the way God works.
Tonight at LEX we talked about this Sunday's Pentecost Gospel reading- it's a quick one, from John (20:19-23) where Jesus appears to his freaked-out disciples after rising from the dead. We noticed that Jesus appears with the wounds from his crucifixion, where we supposed (being God and all) He could have chosen to appear with a nicely healed body. Why did he still have those wounds? We guessed that maybe Jesus was showing that He knows that we too, like Him, will suffer. That pain is part of life, and that death is part of resurrection. He suffered, but then triumphed over suffering. Pain is real, and true, and it exists, God knows. Massages are nice, (really nice) but they're not real life. Life is walking, sore muscles, working, suffering and victory. Massages, and vacations, are temporary. Life goes on, wounds and all.
I don't know how God works, but I know how God doesn't work! (still, it would be nice, wouldn't it?)