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.