We called that love


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When I became a proper Christian it was with wonder and fear.  Of my totality of connection to Creation and all therein.  And what the fuck I was supposed to do now (including the fear of STILL thinking/saying “fuck”).

Wonder of God – yes.  Fear of God – no!

(that was reserved for my fellow Christians)

It was a similar cocktail when Mrs (to-be) Paul and I agreed we were an item.  Wonder of someone I fancied!  Instant fear of farting … speaking in my sleep … eating too much … doing the wrong things!

And then time kicks in.

The first fart (and then farting together). The first constricted silent poo (and then the  pooing together). That inevitable drift from “holding it all in” to letting it all out – to “being ourselves”.

Which still wasn’t.

Because along the way we found each other’s “hot buttons”.  And we learned to NOT speak honestly – to NOT “let it all out” – and to “keep the peace” – to avoid confrontation.

We called that love.

Except there was a silent counting.  Which exacerbates when children come along.

The two loaves now with five fishes and a multitude to feed, clothe, and wash.  And the two loaves live on a few relationship crumbs – with more “hot buttons” of  frustration and exhaustion.

And when that is done …

The two loaves find that being just “two loaves” is weird.  Perhaps that this “wondrous loaf” has lost its yeast.  And have to find again how to enjoy a new relationship with the same person (who isn’t).

Or to separate.

Being a Christian has been much the same for me.

Except the bible has become the “cross to bear” …. This “inerrant and infallible” – this “biblically-scripturally-correct” – bible …  This “I look good on the outside” bible of changing correctness – that holds us “proper Christians” together.  Like wedding vows …

“But you said it was for life!”

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The moment I stopped holding THAT vow against both Mrs Paul and me was when I became free. 

Free to love without condition.  Free to have many relationships with the same – but different – Mrs Paul (and she me).  Because love is not sharing a cake equally.

Love is creating cakes of wonder – again and again – without any thought of who gets what.  Which is why, for me now, the bible is full of love AND totally laid-back about all the rest.

Some hate the bible, some would burn it, others would consign it to the scrapheap of bigotry.  Others (and I have) call it a family album, our family’s journeys, a search for God.  But no matter which you prefer – none of that is of love.

THAT is of “truth”.

And the critics go factual whilst the converts go spiritual.  And the noise of division is heard for all eternity.

My relationship is not dictated by my “vows of truth”.  Our vows were an intention of love.  The rest is down to each of us over time.  And every day.

Love dictates the rest – and NOT the other way around.

Just like the bible.

So you BELIEVE a penis in another’s anus is a sin … you BELIEVE the bible is scripturally correct … you BELIEVE those who worship another god are sinners … you BELIEVE you can replicate your behaviour according to the bible …

For me that is now just “the rest”.  

Where is MY love in those “correct bits” (that change over time)?   Where is MY growing love (without condition)?

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When I became free to let love without condition dictate MY reading of the bible and God …

That’s when “being a Christian” was no longer relevant.

Because that label is now also of “the rest”.

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10 thoughts on “We called that love

  1. My wife and I have never held it back, we’ve (for 40 years) always let it out at each other. We’ve had some good rip-roaring arguments, but through it all we knew we were committed to each other. It’s because we knew we would never leave each other that we could feel free to “be ourselves” with each other.

    I’ve always had the same relationship with God. When I was a teen I would walk and talk to him as if he were right next to me. As I got older and questioned my church (not my faith, but my church) I felt free to question God (not question if there was one, but question him as I would question you). In my later years, when different things went awry, I felt comfortable yelling at him and asking “why?”.

    It was/is the same relationship I have with my wife. I am comfortable yelling, questioning, arguing, with God, because he is my friend, and I know we are committed to each other. I will never leave him, and he will never leave me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It continues to “ground me” that there is no one way for relationship with another. My own relationship began more fearfully. Yet the freedom you write of is also mine/ours with a slight twist. Much as I hope we will be together for ever – our mindset is “one day at a time”. For me that is liberating – and I struggle with the words to explain why. That also applies to God. Again – not is there God – but a God bigger than I can ever imagine or comprehend – so why bother? Rather become free to enjoy being free to be – and then the magic happens!

      I have found church likes to talk about how relationship should be, but it seems relationship is too personal to discuss openly – or perhaps too bound up with being biblically correct and all those religious priorities.

      “I will never leave him, and he will never leave me.”

      Should give us all the freedom to be who we are AND lose this simmering anger in qualified theological correctness arguments.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Andrew I have come to imagine no box at all. And then there is little to chain up or set free. God just is and I just am.

      My mum said something (when I was a teenager) I love to remember. Mum and Dad were both Christian church-goers, and we were brought up the same. Dad was very strict and Mum far less so. Dad was on hos knees before bed and when he got up. Prayers of thanks before every meal. All of us with our own bible and bible reading notes. As a child you go along with it. As a young adult you tire of it.

      Somewhere in the middle of all of that Mum said that she had told God she couldn’t be bothered to talk to him. No particular reason – just that she couldn’t be bothered right then. She still went to church. Still did the church stuff she helped with. Just without all the conversation.

      I had never heard anyone before that ever talk that way. And rarely have I heard it since. But it did mean that when God yelled at me one day (he has only done it once – that I have heard!) – it seemed the most natural startling thing to happen. I nearly fell down the stairs! 🙂

      (https://justmebeingcurious.com/2013/09/13/it-went-pear-shaped-the-end/)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes it is her absolute right not to talk to God. I have not talked to god in so long I have almost forgotten what that is. I used to say the office of the church – formal Prayers just said without thinking, prayers that might make God stuff its fingers in its ears at the pain of my Prayers in the Temple and so forth. rather I think and dig holes and write as though I were some theologian rather than a poor escaped prisoner, trying to fathom the depth of Freedom. one more padlock on my God box.

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        • Andrew, the reason that memory sticks is because it so counter to everything else I was told, taught and expected to be. Everything! I cannot imagine being without God. That tingle, that whisper, that reassurance, that question, that silence, that smell, that memory that … “Words” are not just said or heard.

          But I was taught a “formal” relationship. I was expected to have a “formal” relationship. We seem to prefer a “formal” relationship. Of worship and supplication. Of praise and prayer. Of inequality and deference.

          I had the privilege to be with my dad for the last three months of his life. The labels of father and son remained- but the definitions and “structure” were lovingly eroded and what tool their place was an intimacy and love far greater than that of just “father and son”. A reliance of both upon the other. An equality of love and respect and affection and trust. A safe place. Always safe even unto death – which is when the three months ended.

          I have no sadness. I do not “miss my dad”. He is all around. He is and I am. No words needed.

          ((hugs))

          Liked by 1 person

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