Saturday, November 14, 2020

A month into marriage and here’s what I’m learning

He taught me how to make eye contact on our first date. 

A Sunday afternoon in February at my favorite coffee shop, we sat at a table for two, amazed. 

I talked his leg off, told him stories about living with African women in Hong Kong, cried, and continually averted eye contact.

His blue eyes were too much for me, so I’d glance at him but then do my chatting while staring off into coffee shop space; it was safer and easier and more comfortable. 

“Look at me.”

Kind, direct, strong. 

He knew about eye contact and he was determined to have it with me. 

I’d never felt so seen. 

Talking is a vital ingredient for a healthy relationship. But talking isn’t enough for a thriving romance. 

This new relationship with my husband (happy 1 month & 4 day anniversary to us!) is showing me all sorts of things about what God’s like.

Here’s the one I’m focusing on today; He wants eye contact. And eye contact takes time. 

It’s easy to pray without giving one thought to the the One we’re praying to. I can rattle prayers off a mile a minute, never once turning my attention to my Listener. That’s not the kind of praying God’s looking for. Sure He likes the sound of my voice, but He likes it best when I’m looking at Him. He made us like Himself, and we all like to be looked at when spoken to. 

Is it more meaningful for someone to talk to you while they’re so busy with their work they never even glance up at you, or for someone to stop their work and sit down with you, looking you right in the eye? 

Paying attention to God. Stilling your thoughts and turning them towards God, your heart’s attention on Him. Eye contact with the Uncreated. Possible for every human being because Jesus died on the Cross and rose again, defeating our sin. 

God’s heart desires our gaze. 

God’s heart craves our attention. 

I’m using romantic language because He’s a romantic God.

Whether you’re running 100mph or finding yourself at an abrupt halt in a cornfield with a new husband who insists you not get into a rush with filling your schedule back up and you’re kinda shocked at life’s changes and how uncomfortable you find the stillness (hello!), or if you’re somewhere in between—there is a most wonderful King wanting eye contact with you. 

Jesus calls the relationship He wants with humanity a marriage. Like my husband, Jesus wants my eye contact. 

I’ve had a few identity crisis fall-aparts since becoming a married woman. 

All this stillness. All this not running around. All this not being able to rattle off an “impressive” answer when someone asks “So, what are you doing now?” My heart has had a hard time with it. 

But this husband, my eye contact teacher, he keeps going to work and buying me groceries and telling me again and again and again he has no expectations of me except that I go slow and enjoy every day right now. Huh? 

God’s like that.

Way less concerned with my productivity and way more concerned with my being with Him. Simply being with Him. That’s what He wants most of all. 

On our wedding day, my brand new husband scooped me up and carried me. White dress and dirty feet, I could feel his heart’s thrill. I was his now. We were two giddy kids in awe of how wonderful life can be. 

My husband didn’t marry me because he was needing a full-time preacher or wanting to double his income or hoping to be impressed by my daily productivity. He married me because he wanted me to be his wife. 

To be gazed upon, to be carried, to be enjoyed; life starts here, like this with our Maker. 

So here I sit, in our trailer in the cornfield, drinking coffee and hanging more stuff on the walls and asking God to tell me who I am and reading the richest Words every written, whilst making eye contact with God Himself. It’s a strange & beautiful time. 

On that first date, by the time we left the coffee shop, we were holding uninterrupted eye contact. It was the first time in my life I looked into someone’s eyes without shying my eye contact away. Nowadays, I can stare into husband’s eyes all day long and not be intimidated. Progress. I’m learning how to be a wife and eye contact continues to be an important lesson. 

Maybe you think God’s wanting something from you more than He’s just wanting to be with you. Or maybe you’ve never heard He likes when you pay attention to Him. Or maybe you’re scared of eye contact. Or maybe you just got married and are questioning your identity. 

Good News for all of us.

God has our lives figured out. And He simply wants our eye contact today. 

Jesus, help us not be scared to look at You. And help us know it’s all You want.