Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I am trouble and strife.

I am Sarah. I am Hagar.
I am Rachel and Leah.
I am Bathsheba. I am Ruth.

I am stumbling.
Short-sighted and slow-witted.

I am wielded. I am poured.
Tapped and driven.
A formation tool.
My blemishes smooth away your corners.

My lateness is making you patient.
My forgetfulness is making you flexible.
My need is making you self controlled.
My hasty tongue thickens your sensitivity.

Tonight I long for distance.
My closeness makes for more bruises in you.
Tonight I long for proximity.
Your closeness comforts me.

I wrote this a few months ago, after seeing the pain I cause my husband. It burned me that he understood the pain and hard work of marriage. Through being married to me.

Again and again I realise that perfection, goodness, praiseworthiness is out of reach. That I long to be the one who excels, with ease and with pride. That if I succeeded at this I just might be insufferable. And that I make others suffer already.

And then I know (with a whole-body, whole-heart, deeply-relieved knowing) perfection is not mine to grasp. That we share need, my husband and I, because we let each other down. That we also share the intimacy of failing each other and it being OK. That I am his trouble and strife as well as his joy. That we clumsily love the other to show a tiny glimpse of God's perfect covenant love for each of us.

Tomorrow is our 14th anniversary. I'm not a sentimental blogger, but these years have been slowly teaching me the science and art of being known and what covenant love is. Truly I say, marriage is shaping me. Making me.

A curtain hides glory, truth and faithful love from us. My husband has lifted the bottom corner, beckoned me over and shared a peek with me.



Brandee Shafer said...

I love this. Happy Anniversary to you, and congratulations on making it work...and, even moreso, for staying in love.

Kath said...

Thanks Brandee. I appreciate your encouragement.

Unknown said...

Absolutely beautiful! We've been married for 31 years and are still learning this. Grateful to my husband for also lifting the veil . . .

Kim Hyland said...

SUCH wonderful insight and rich words here! I usually like to quote my favorite phrase back to the author when I comment, but I would have to practically copy the whole post. I will reread and feed on this for awhile. Thank you!

Kati Woronka said...

It's great, this... learning from the bad moments, celebrating the good moments. I admire such commitment.

Mommy Emily said...

sigh. l'amour. i love this kath. and yes, marriage is a refining fire, that warms us and sometimes burns us... :)

Kelli said...

I enjoyed reading some of your blog this morning. This poem echoes my own battle in marriage...myself. So grateful for grace!