Through the Eye of a Needle
Once we got back to the friend's house, the learning began. We stayed at the house with the kids while the adults were away (we are not adults, I think), and spent our time marvelling at the monstrosity of said abode. We mounted to the attic room, where there was a seemingly full-service bar, a pool table, a poker table, an enormous HDTV, etc. I would go on, but I have a tendency to get cynical. We started to shoot a game of 8-ball, but the overwhelming feeling of a deep-seated coldness was too much to really do any relaxing. Enter, the family. While they are nice people with a great sense of style, they seemed almost like the little boy who incessantly petitions his mother to look at the plastic dinosaurs that are waging war in his wonderful, creative hands. The time we spent with them seemed to almost fill me with pain for them. I longed to put my arms around my wife and sit in the quiet of our room, where the company and the small space have that sense of home, what the Germans call "gemutlig."
I don't know if they know Jesus. They didn't seem to have a grasp of beauty and love, and truth. They didn't appear to see any glimpse of Bigness and the world's finiteness and the Almighty. Once I got out of the house and began to breathe again, I felt more deeply the hope in my heart and the lack in that place. I wanted to weep in pain and be thankful all at the same time. I don't know if any of the feelings I've had tonight are right, or sinful, or holy, but I thank God that I must live hand to mouth at times, and dependent always. I can always gain the whole world, but what shall I pay for it?
My wife wept tonight over her distance from her bosom friend in Florida - her greatest wish: that she could be with him as his life seems to fall to pieces. I must certainly learn not to take my friends for granted, but that's not the point tonight. We argued because I felt hurt by her jealousy, and she felt lonely from my misunderstanding. But altogether, I am cut to bone by her sorrow, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know this may sound strange, but I am, in some far-off place, glad for this grieving. These circumstances and friends she chose before I met her are her own, and we both knew they'd be hard to bear, and I'm proud of her for her heart, and for bearing the weight of mourning for the mournful. It's a wonderful, hurtful song that I wouldn't silence for its beauty.