1 Corinthians 7:34 and his interests are divided. The unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the work of the Lord, how she can be holy in both body and spirit. But the married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world, how she can please her husband.
Jesus: Hi honey, I’m home!
I run into his arms and cling tightly to him.
J. Hey, what’s all this about? You’re acting like I’ve been dead and gone for 2,000 years. Have you forgotten I’ve just been out doing my Father’s work?
Me: [muffled in His chest] Take me away!
He gently pries me away and looks me in the eyes.
J. That bad, huh? C’mon, sit down and tell me about it.
He kisses me softly on the forehead and leads me to the couch. I curl up next to him and rest my head on His shoulder.
M. I’m sorry, I got so wrapped up in me I never asked how Your day was.
J. Shh, it’s okay. Time enough for that later. And anyway, you know every day is a great day when I’m working for my Dad.
I run a finger along the hole in His hand. I glance up at His face through my eyelashes, wondering if I can see thorn-holes under His hairline.
M. Every day?
J. Especially that day! Because that was the day I won my bride.
He squeezes me tight. I finally begin to relax.
J. Hang in there. Just one more week, then we can take the kids to my Father’s house and enjoy being husband and wife instead of mommy and daddy.
M. Mmm, I like the sound of that!
J. So tell me, what’s have the kids been up to while I was away?
M. You wouldn’t believe it unless You saw it Yourself.
J. Who says I haven’t? But tell me anyway.
M. I… Actually, I think it is all my fault.
J. Why do you say that?
M. Well… whose else could it be? I mean, You are You. You’re perfect! Which means anything they do wrong, they must have gotten from… because of something I…
I break down in tears. He holds me until
I cry myself out.
J. So… is that’s what’s been bothering you?
I nod, still unable to speak. He grabs some Kleenex from a nearby box and hands them to me. He waits while I put myself back together, then takes my hands and looks me in eyes.
J. I know we’ve been over this before, but I’m happy to keep repeating this as long as it takes to sink in. This is NOT your fault. It is MY responsibility. That is the whole reason My Father sent me, and why I had to die on a cross.
He squeezes my hands. I can feel the holes.
J. I tried to explain this to you before, but I don’t think we’re able to understand until now. Because of My work, I can’t be there for the kids the way I long to. The way you and they want me to do, and in some sense need me to. That is the real reason they act up.
He pauses. He can feel me tensing up.
J. Go ahead and say it. I won’t be offended.
J. I already know you are thinking it. And so does He. Really, it’s okay.
I’m shaking. Its like a dam suddenly bursts. I stand up and start stalking around the room. I feel the urge to start throwing things.
M. Why! Why does Your Father have to work like that? Why can’t You just stay here with me? Why do you have to leave me, leave us all alone like this?
I turn to face Him.
M. I want to please You. I want to love them the way You would if You were here. But I can’t. I… I’m just not strong enough.
He comes closer and wraps me in His arms.
M. [muffled again] I failed you. I’m sorry.
He gives me hug, then holds me at arms length. I finally force myself to meet His eyes.
He’s grinning! In fact, He looks like He’s about to burst into laughter.
M. What’s so funny?
I grab a cushion and hurl it at Him.
M. I’m serious!
J. So am I!
Though it sure doesn’t feel like it as He hurls the cushion back at me. Before I know it, cushions are flying back and forth, until eventually we collapse back on the couch in a storm of giggles.
M. I still don’t get it.
His head is in my lap. He looks up at me.
M. Why You married me. You must have known… everything.
He doesn’t say anything, but He smiles.
I close my eyes.
M. Was it… pity? Because You knew I was such a mess. That I’d never make it on my own. Because… because nobody else would have me.
Jesus gets up. For a moment, I’m afraid I’ve offended Him. Spoken the unspeakable truth He never wanted me to hear.
But then He picks me up in His strong arms and carries me out to the backyard. I cuddle with Him on the porch swing while we gaze up at the stars.
There is a long silence. Not awkward. But still unresolved. Finally He speaks.
J. Pity is the wrong word. It makes it sound like the only thing you had to give Me was your brokenness.
M. Isn’t it?
J. Not even close.
M. Then what?
J. You. Your you-ness. The sheer wonder of you being you. Your strengths and weaknesses so wonderfully knit together it is impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. The joy you find in Me becomes the joy I find in you.
He draws me close and kisses me.
J. That is why I married you. That is why I left my Father’s house and sought you out. Because the cross was a small price to pay compared to the joy of being with you.
M. But… if that’s the case, why can’t we just be together all the time? I don’t understand!
J. Shh. That’s a question for another day. For now, don’t try to understand.
End of Day One.
To be continued.