Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mawwiage and Us

This week was twentyfive weeks till our twentyfifth anniversary. That's weird, in a happy way. In the circles in which I run, 25th anniversaries are so rare that it makes us oddities of a sort, weirdos in a presumably admirable sense. But it is all due to God's patience with us.

I think a wedding is a visible symbol of a marriage, and a marriage is a visible symbol of human love, and human love is a visible symbol of God's love for us and for, if one may put it this way, himself. So a wedding is not an inturned event, where the couple curve in on themselves to the exclusion of the rest of us, any more than a marriage should be inwardly turned, ostensibly self-sufficient and excluding others. Because God, whom all these things symbolize at some remove, is not inwardly turned. Aristotle was wrong; God does not sit around, smiling in a self-satisfied way and saying, My, I certainly am satisfied with myself just the way I am. God is turned out, towards (among others) us.

As artists living in isolation from community find that the self is an inadequate source of meaning and creativity, so relationships. Dawn and I could not be where we are without the great cloud of witnesses, gadflies, advisers, chief cooks and bottlewashers, babysitters, prayer partners, movie watchers, and all the rest. We don't do acquaintances that well; love doesn't fear friends (as potential romantic rivals) or envy them (as robbers of time and attention), nearly so much as it needs them.

We are us. That's kind of it. We--Dawn and I--are us: the Thameses. We--Dawn and I and our circles of friends and care and prayer--are us: a colony of the Kingdom. That's how we--I anyway--get through. And that's a good thing.


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