nakedness and courage

I don’t know a lot about love. I’m pretty sure, though that any form of love requires nakedness and courage. Nakedness, both literately and figuratively, is vulnerability, and every vulnerability is a nakedness toward the world. To love requires both the courage to be vulnerable before the Other and the courage to commit to the Other in the face of their vulnerability. Even harder, the courage to be vulnerable to ourselves in the eyes of Another.

About nine and a half years ago I proposed to Darcie. It was the first time that she had seen me without my rugged face-shield and it was the first time I had told her – told any girl – that I loved her. In order to love truly and madly and deeply, I knew, bolstering the courage to take the leap was a prerequisite.

And there, before the nakedness of my face and the nakedness of my question she had the courage to say “yes.”

Stanley Hauerwas would say that Christians have essentially lost both the moral integrity and the theological comprehensibility to talk about marriage coherently. Marriage as an institution is in many ways over-sentimentalized, over-atomized, over-commodotized and over-sacralized. It has become an idol at its own expense. It has relegated community and friendship to perpetual inferiority complexes – the very relationships that help to sustain marriages and carry married couples and their families through ‘better or worse’.

Stan’s insights aside (it is our anniversary, after all), I have been thankful each day of the last nine years for the promises that we made to one another and to ourselves in the presence of community, family, and friends.

I don’t know a lot about love. But I have found it. Darcie, my most intimate friend, thank you for having the courage to say “yes” in spite of, in the face of, and perhaps even because of, my vulnerabilities.



One thought on “nakedness and courage

  1. How true!

    Just today, I read this by Madeleine L’Engle:
    “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable.
    But to grow up is to accept vulnerability…. To be alive is to be vulnerable.”

    And, upon Wikipedial inspiration, I found the following:

    “If we commit ourselves to one person for life
    this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom;
    rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom,
    and the risk of love which is permanent;
    into that love which is not possession but participation” (The Irrational Season, 1977).

    Thank you for accepting and embracing each other in the *face* of vulnerability, Keith and Darcie. : )

    You two are fabulous together and such a great encouragement to those of us who are privileged to call you family (and, I’m sure, to a glorious number besides. But I count myself luckier still that you’re siblings!).

    Here’s to the continuing leap to love and learn alongside each other in marriage, in life, in grace, in truth which Christ enables us to take wholeheartedly… over and over again.

    Great picture, by the way! 🙂


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