What big lessons can be learned from little annoyances? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
A couple of days ago, my wife wasn’t feeling the best and asked me to help prepare her a can of soup. Okay. I can do that. Yet shortly after that was done, I realized I had a cut on one of my fingers that had turned into quite a bit of a bleeding problem. Since it was on my right hand, I asked Allie come and help me bandage it properly. No big deal.
Until the next day it comes loose and we have to do it again as the bleeding starts once more.
Then that evening the bandage is coming loose one more time and so I look and it looks like the cut is healed up as I tend to be a fast healer. No big deal. I just take it off and figure I don’t have to worry about it any more. I can just go on with my dinner.
Until I see that blood on my finger again piling up.
So I go to the bathroom again to wash my hands and put on another bandage. I interrupt my reading of G.K. Chesterton to go and while in there, I notice that a drop of blood has fallen on my shirt. No big deal. I can just go into the bedroom and change. I can do that.
Why yes. Yes I can do that.
There are times that a simple event happens that opens you up to a great reality you’ve been missing. I don’t doubt that it is largely because I was reading Chesterton that this happened. Chesterton encourages me to look at the world differently.
My insight came that I can go straight into the bedroom and change because Allie does accept me physically entirely. As readers of this blog might know, I am by all physical requirements I could think of, a weakling. I weigh about 120 pounds an I’m extremely skinny. (Although Allie does say I’m building up some muscle thanks to the gym.)
And yet I have no fear of acceptance around my wife. She accepts me as I am. Something I find incredible.
It struck me then what a marvel that we all live with. Bodies are some of the most common sights we see everyday. If you turn on the TV or go to the store or do most anything, you will encounter other humans in some way or another which will often entail seeing other bodies. (Even on social media like Facebook, the most common image you’ll probably see for someone is an image of themselves somehow.)
Those bodies are common, and yet they are sacred. Many people in this area see my wife on a regular basis. However, I am the only one who truly “sees” her in the full sense. Aside from medical professionals under specific circumstances, others do not really get that privilege. There is also the possibility of perhaps women changing with one another at a party at one of their houses or showering at a club like the Y. The general principle is that the whole body is not shared with just anyone and certainly not just anyone of the opposite sex. (Allie would only see a female gynecologist and dermatologist. For a similar treatment by me, I would only go see a guy.)
Our bodies are extremely common, but they’re also sacred and we guard them especially. If any guy tried to see my Princess in a way not allowable I can think that I’d be like the husband in Proverbs who would refuse to take a bribe no matter how great it was. That’s sacred territory meant only for she and I together and no one else has a right to that.
And isn’t that just something fascinating? One of the objects that is most common to us is also the most sacred. It is the human being. It is the image of God in this world. It is the very aspect of reality that was assumed in the incarnation. It was the greatest wonder that the Son of God Himself took on a body and indeed, still has that body. One of the great hopes of the Christian church is the resurrection of the body. We are not gnostics. We firmly hold to material reality and hold that it is good. We are not meant to become angels. We are meant to be humans.
I was also stunned by the fact that yes, I can change in here because I do in fact trust Allie. Why shouldn’t I? She loves me. This I find to be a simply astounding claim. There is actually a female in this world who loves me, desires me, and wants to be with me. She wants all of those so much that she agreed to be with me until death do us part.
I find that utterly amazing and I even told her that last night. She was curious why and I said “Because I know who I am!” What is there about me that Allie should desire me at all? I can think of Boaz who told Ruth that she did not run after the younger men. (As might be known, I am nearly 10 years older than my wife)
This is a claim that is hard to believe and it could be because those of us who are nerds rarely expect something like this to happen. (Women. Please learn this. If you want to get a husband that is totally devoted to you, you cannot go wrong with a nerd. Nerds will spend the rest of their lives in devotion to you generally.)
This claim is hard to believe and why is it? It is not because there is a lack of evidence. Oh one could surely point from time to time to mistakes that we all make and say “See? There is no love here,” yet that is going with the exceptions rather than the rule. If you look on the whole of matters, the evidence is overwhelming on the proposition that my Mrs. deeply loves her husband. (And might I add, respects as well. We are going through “Love and Respect” now after all.)
If the claim is not hard to believe because of lack of evidence, then what could make it hard to believe? The only other aspect left is the nature of the claim seems so out of touch with ordinary every day experience. It has been my common experience to not get this kind of devotion from women. It has been my common experience to think there is nothing special about me in that sense to warrant that kind of devotion. Nevertheless, that devotion is there!
It is just like the case for miracles. I do not think it really is a lack of evidence. There is plenty of evidence for miracles. Just see Keener’s book. If we treated the NT gospels and epistles the same way we treat other ancient works of history, we’d fully accept that Jesus rose from the dead, but these are rejected, and most often not even looked at. I know few people who have really bothered to go through Keener’s book for instance. In fact, some have even said “Well Keener might have some things, but you don’t see someone rising from the dead three days later in an imperishable body.”
So because it doesn’t have the miracle you want to see, no account of a miracle is trustworthy….
The evidence is out there, but the claim is so contrary to what most people experience, and indeed we can all understand that part. Miracles are not part of our every day experience. If they were, we would not call them miracles. They are extraordinary and rare events where God especially breaks into the sphere of our world. I can understand skepticism of such a thing since they are so rare, but skepticism can be unwarranted when it makes demands that are far too high. If I demanded perfection from my own spouse as proof of her love for me, I can rest assured I would never know for sure about it.
And it is an interesting parallel to tie it in with miracles as I can certainly say that the fact that someone such as myself found a spouse who complements me so well and likes all of my little quirks and such that most people find annoying is indeed a miracle. Two people on the spectrum with Asperger’s coming together like this? It reminds me of when I watched Mozart and the Whale at Allie’s house before we got married and while we were engaged. When her folks asked me about it I said I thought it was unrealistic. They were puzzled and asked why. I simply told them it’s a story about two people with Asperger’s getting married. When does something like that ever happen?
This got a laugh from them as it should as that great rarity was about to be lived out right before their eyes. If any event in my life can lead to that great marvel of a public demonstration of God’s grace, it is that of finding Allie.
In fact, as I was telling her last night about all these great insights and how things were coming together so incredibly, she said “Since it started with a drop of blood, you could even tie that into the blood of Christ.”
And indeed, she is right.
Blood itself is common as well, and yet it is sacred. We do not worry if we see sweat on our bodies. We normally expect that. We do wonder what has happened if we see blood and we seek to take care of the problem immediately. We want to wash our hands thoroughly as we don’t want to eat anything with our own blood in it. When it comes to transfusions now, they’re all checked thoroughly because blood could just as easily lead to death.
And yet this common object is the basis of our salvation. When we take Communion, we think about the body and blood of Jesus. (Common objects once again used to express divine truths) Do we really stop to think about what we are doing? We are recognizing the offering of blood for us. Someone poured out their life so that we could live.
Skeptics of the NT will often describe such an event as hideous and disgusting. They’re right! The death of Jesus is a hideous and disgusting event! It is because in fact the sin that led to Jesus being on the cross is hideous and disgusting. What could be more hideous and disgusting than realizing that it is because of human sin that the most righteous one of all chose to face a death that He did not deserve? (In fact, despite what they say about Jesus, I cannot at this moment think of one skeptic who has told me that Jesus deserved to be crucified. Most every religion tries to fit Jesus into itself and even atheists today often look at many of Jesus’s teachings as moral in nature.)
The death of Jesus is ugly because sin is ugly.
Now I am sure I could extend this line of thought further and who knows? Maybe I will someday, but I can say that last night became utterly amazing as one simple little action based on what was an annoyance at first led to a great realization of simple little truths I had overlooked and yet were around me every day.
I hope in turn what I have written has opened you up to such truths as well.