ekspreshon #15 - ruff. it’s just the dog in me, baby…
hold on, this may ramble a bit…
i am not the image of a perfect, strong, Godly man. i am not consistently confident in all my endeavors. i do not always walk by blind faith. i am not the take-charge leader guy. i am not unflappably calm in the midst of the storm. i am not a zen master. i am not a chisel-chinned, hairy chested, testosterone-filled lumberjack.
i am a deeply flawed individual. i have been broken. i carry the scars of past relationships and the weight of past mistakes. i am chipped and cracked and have rough edges on every side. i am at times ridden by my passions and not the master of them. i try, but i am a ragged, tattered soul. i’m not that hairy and if it weren’t for the beard and the heavy-gauge earrings, i’d be baby-faced.
but you know what? i know all of this and – just as importantly – my fiancee knows this. there is a great freedom in knowing that the woman i love knows who i am and knows what i’m not. she is not blind to my reality and she still loves who she sees. there is a great joy and freedom there that is a reflection of the freedom we can have in Christ knowing that He knows how crappy we are and that he wants us, loves us, and desires us anyway. not in spite of our issues, but because of them.
there is a thing that i’ve noticed… when people get to be about 24-25 or so and are still single, there are usually one or more things that are true about them:
- they have had painful relationships in the past that have left them wary of future relationships if not downright wounded and gunshy.
- they have had little experience in relationships and therefore are somewhat clumsy at relationship-level communication.
- they have fallen in love with the idea of a significant other rather than the reality of one.
let’s talk about this last observation for a moment. what i mean by that is this: often a man will desire the idea of a woman – caring, creative, beautiful, vibrant. a companion. a partner. a sounding board for ideas. a bedmate, etc. these are not bad things, but often they fall so in love with this idea of a woman that they have trouble seeing the personhood of a woman. that’s not to say that they objectify them… they just have trouble seeing the whole picture. they’re not in love with the “ideal woman” but the idea of a woman.
this goes both ways, i think, although i think that most women are quite aware that men are a motley, mismatched, pack of mangy mongrels. sometimes a woman will fall in love with the idea of a man and not be able to fall in love with the personhood of a man. they fall in love with the idea of the take-charge, white knight who will persue them to the ends of the earth if need be. a man who’s strong, compassionate, creative, and decisive. a protector, companion, friend, lover, and partner. these are not bad things to desire either… they just often cloud the perception making it harder to see the person of a man.
how awesome is it then when a woman looks at a man and sees the broken, dirty, ragged little boy that he is – who needs his confidence propped up, who needs constant encouragement and needs to be told that he’s a good man – and still loves him. and how amazing is it when a man looks at a woman and sees the broken, insecure, little girl that she is – who needs to be held and told that she’s beautiful and that she’s brilliant and that she’s strong – and still loves her. there is beauty in that. there’s beauty in being broken and loved.
there’s hope there too. because, being loved in our imperfections, we’re free to grow beyond them. this is an awesome reflection of God’s love for us. being loved by God in all of our imperfection, with all of our broken off pieces, with all of our chips and rust and rotteness, we’re able to stand up on something solid and GROW. propped up by love, we’re able to become strong – we’re able to achieve God’s desire for us: to be the beautiful creation we are meant to be.
i’m not used to thinking of myself as beautiful or strong or desireable or wonderful. these are not words that i’d use to describe myself by any means. but they are words that jess uses. and they are words that God uses to describe us all. each and every one of us. individually.
i don’t get it. i really don’t. i know who i am and i’m not that awesome.
but that’s not the point, is it? being awesome isn’t a requirement of love. heck, it’s not even the end goal.
being authentically, honestly, wholly who God created you to be and loving people as the screw-ups that they are… that’s the point. that’s the goal.
still there? told you that it would ramble…
ekspreson #13 – the rough stone beneath