The List.

by Lauren Goldbloom

I have a list.  You know the kind.  It’s not one I’m proud of.  That ugly record of wrongs that I insist I have the right to hold on to.   The items on the list are etched into memory so I can carry them wherever I go.  And this – this is The Ugly.

There is that familiar chapter, quoted at so many weddings, that speaks of The Beautiful .  “Love is patient, love is kind… Love keeps no record of wrongs.”

We spoke of these words before our own union, two young fools in love.   We saw the Beautiful in each other, noticed that kind, patient, selfless love in one another, the image of God stamped.  Vows were made before our Father and His Church and in a sacred moment I am his and he is mine.

This love – patient, kind, giving, selfless – is Beauty I wish to behold each day in us.  It is the stuff of a great marriage, a great life.  The Beautiful has taken my breath away countless times, as I’ve learned what it is to love and be loved and I have been caught up in the sheer joy of it.

And yet…  At times…

I choose something different.  The self.  The list. “Because I have a right to be hurt, and you were in the wrong, and shouldn’t you have known better by now, and why do you deserve to be forgiven anyway?”

The list is a mask I use to hide behind my own shame.  A way to keep him at a distance so I don’t have to face…me.  If I have the list, I can be right, I can be first…

But even as I defend my rights, hold on to my anger, I can feel the ugliness of it.  And Beauty whispers its own fragrance.  Calls me to lay it down.  Love perseveres…

There is no love that is apart from Love Himself.  And the God of Love bore the weight of all wrongs, and cast the list into a great sea.

I have been forgiven much.  Loved much.  And when I stop and breathe in the fullness of it, I am overcome.  Love never fails…

Good news.  That the Author of Love pursues me with his unfailing love.  And that in His great story He chose to unite me with a man who would make love something I could feel and touch and see.  And it is Beautiful.