Mere mortals

When we got home after church and date night tonight, Brian and I had an awkward conversation.

There was something I really needed to tell him and I wasn’t sure when to do it. Realizing there would never be a perfect opportunity to have this conversation, I walked down the hall and blurted it out.

“B, I’m an organ donor. And when I say organ donor, I mean organs, tissue, eyes– anything that can be used. This is just a body and when I’m done with it, someone else should use it.”

My husband locked eyes with me. The corners of his mouth curled up and his face spread into a smile. He walked up and wrapped his arms around me. “I love you,” he said.

I don’t think I needed to tell Brian that for him to know it. I think that if I was in a terrible accident and wasn’t going to make it, that Brian would know how I felt. I just wanted to say it to make sure. I wanted to make sure that in that moment with stress and anxiety and emotions and heartache, that my wishes were clear. This is just a body. I’m not going to need it where I’m going.

I don’t want to die before Brian. I’m crazy in love with this man. I don’t want his heart to hurt like that. And I don’t want him to go before me, either. I don’t want to live a day without him. He’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me beside God making me his own. In the dream-world in my head, we’ll die at the same time wrapped in each others’ arms like in ‘The Notebook’ so we’ll never have to live a day apart. I realize there’s nothing realistic about that at all… hence the blurting in the hallway.

In pre-marital counseling through Austin Stone, we read John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage. I had a hard time with concepts like not being married to Brian for eternity and the marriage as a picture of Christ and the church. But Piper explains things well, and eventually, I understood. 

“So it is with marriage. It is a momentary gift. It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will be embittered at the sorrows we must face. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.

Very soon the shadow will give way to Reality. The partial will pass into the Perfect. The foretaste will lead to the Banquet. The troubled path will end in Paradise. A hundred candle-lit evenings will come to their consummation in the marriage supper of the Lamb. And this momentary marriage will be swallowed up by Life. Christ will be all and in all. And the purpose of marriage will be complete.

To that end may God give us eyes to see what matters most in this life. May the Holy Spirit, whom he sends, make his crucified and risen Son the supreme Treasure of our lives. And may the Treasure so satisfy our souls that the root of every marriage-destroying impulse is severed. And may the marriage-watching world be captivated by the covenant-keeping love of Christ.”

We won’t live forever. And more than likely, one of us will have to live on this earth for some time without the other. And if I spend all my time clinging to Brian, when he’s gone, I’m left with nothing. But if our marriage is focused on Christ, then would I lose the love of my life, but not my reason for living.

 

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