Holding Each Other Up

Let’s be honest which doesn’t mean being harsh, but gentle.

Let’s be clear which doesn’t mean being dispassionate, but holding each other up in the face of what is true.

Let’s be enduring which doesn’t mean being important or famous, but staying useful like a wheel worn by rain in the same place after years of carrying each others burdens.

Let’s be in awe which doesn’t mean anything but the courage to gape like fish at the surface breaking around our mouths as we meet the air.

Mark Neopo  

IMG_2539I came across these words in a treasure of a book tucked away on the used bookshelf in the back of our independent book store. The book, Time is a River , by one of my favorite fiction writers, Mary Alice Monroe. It left a trail of readers from all over our state. I found bookmarks from various independent book stores, the bookmarks themselves telling their own story.

Time is a River has found a home here, lovingly placed on my shelf.

We are celebrating the gift of time today. The sacred ground of marriage. The bends of our own river of life. The twists and turns, the history of twenty~nine years.

The past forty~four days living the unexpected has made this anniversary more poignant. More tender. More sacred.

We look like a wheel worn by rain after years of carrying each others burdens. Each season different. Times we carried the burdens together, some we carried separately, yet bending and winding along the same path, never straying far from one another.

I don’t mean to paint some idyllic picture far removed from real life. We’ve lived the gritty hard. There have been a few tug of wars, occasional disagreements, days sprinkled with few words. Seasons where the work was finding our way back to the same path.

The work of sacred love is to give grace, to serve and honor one another. To build up and not tear down. Holding one another up in times of falling. Strengthening the ties that bind us together.

These are the things you fight for. The grace, the serving, the honoring.

The payoff, sacred ground where marriage grows and flourishes.

Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.

Mathew 19:6 NLT

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn

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