relationships are messy…

i picked up Kerry Shook’s book “Love At Last Sight”. it’s a chapter a day for 30 days and it targets four “Arts” that we need to practice to deepen our relationships.  They are:

1. The Art of Being All There

2. The Art of Acting Intentionally

3. The Art of Risking Awkwardness

4. The Art of Letting Go

i’m on day 3 and this passage struck me today:

A Glorious Mess

You see, rich relationships are messy. They don’t line up in neat bullet points. The refuse to be boxed into a rigid schedule.  They can’t be filed for handy retrieval or condensed and expanded at will.

If you decide to invest in a heart-to-heart relationship, there will be times your eyes will sting with tears and your heart will feel like a vacuum-packed coffee bag.  There will be times you feel the excitement of a kid in a candy store, times when you ache with regret or really burst with pride.  But through it all, you will feel fully alive and fully loved.  Author T. D. Jakes expresses it beautifully:

If you are looking for someone to be your everything, don’t look around, look up! God is the only one who can be everything.  By expecting perfection from the flesh, you ask more out of someone else than what you can provide yourself.  To be married is to have a partner: someone who is not always there or always on target or always anything! On the other hand, should you ever get in trouble and you don’t know who to look to for help, you can count on your partner!  It is to have someone to curl up against when the world seems cold and life uncertain.  It is having someone who is as concerned as you are when your children are ill.  It is having a hand that keeps checking your forehead when you aren’t well.  To be married is to have someone’s shoulder to cry on as they lower your parent’s body into the ground.  It is wrapping wrinkled knees in warm blankets and giggling without teeth. To the person you marry, you are saying, ‘When my time comes to leave this world and the chill of eternity blows away my birthdays and my future stands still in the night; it’s your face I want to kiss good-bye.  It is your hand I want to squeeze as I slip from time to eternity.  As the curtain closes on all I have attempted to do and be; I want to look into your eyes and see that I mattered.  Not what I looked like.  Not what I did or how much money I made.  Not even how talented I was. I want to look into the teary eyes of someone who loved me and see; I mattered!’

That ought to resonate with anyone who has a heartbeat.  We all want to matter.  The art of being all there starts with the unselfish act of taking what we ourselves long for and realizing that others want the same thing from us.

wow, i want to matter and i want those that i love to know that they matter.  i want to be all there. that’s my goal.


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