On Saturday morning I fought with my wife. Not a big fight, just some bickering over directions to Caris’s soccer game, ending with an unnecessarily hard remark and a long, awkward silence.
That night was date night, so after Indian food we took a walk around the canals of Naples Island in Long Beach. As we debriefed the week, Katy graciously brought up our fight and, in particular, my impatience (I say graciously not because it was nice of her to bring it up, but because she did so with gentleness). One of the ways I know there is a God is that he gave me the ability to be quiet and listen, which many of you know is a clear sign of divine intervention. I fought it hard, but finally, I apologized. Now that I reflect on it, I don’t even think I apologized all that well, but at least when we prayed together that evening I confessed my impatience and selfishness to God.
The words of Anne Lamott come to mind: “I was not willing to give up a life of shame and failure without a fight.” Why was it so hard for me to apologize? Why was I so unwilling to just admit my failure and name my shame? It’s not like it was hiding anymore. I mean, by the calm, moonlit waters around Naples Island it was just me and her and God – and all three of us knew precisely that I was wrong and should apologize.
I don’t know about you, but every time I apologize and ask for forgiveness I feel like I’m dying. And I don’t like dying.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but again I’m taken aback that every time I die that way, there seems to be more life on the other side of it. More connection, more intimacy, more joy, more peace. It didn’t dawn on me till just now that this rambling blog that was going try to connect marriage to starting a church is actually about Jesus and what Easter means. I’m so grateful that what he did on the cross and what his Father did at the empty tomb together inaugurated a new reality that his Spirit works into our lives each day, so that every time we die to ourselves we come to life just a little bit more.