I’d like to share an interesting experience I recently had.
The other day at church, I found myself sitting across from, and visiting with, a blind couple who were recently married. They kept being affectionate with each other, putting their arms around one another and whispering in each other’s ear. They would both occasionally laugh, chide each other, hold hands, and give the other a soft kiss or two.
Their love was more than evident, both to them and to those of us present. And even though they couldn’t see each other, it was clear their love existed despite their limitations. In other words, their love for each other was more of an evident reality than the “shackled” reality they live in.
Then it occurred to me: Touch, taste, sight, smell…these are only vehicles, and expressions of one person’s love for another, they are NOT the love itself. Humanity in it’s default settings will tell you otherwise. The world often defines love by how it manifests in physical form, that is, how you experience it through the senses……How easy it is to forget that love is so much more.
Claiming to understand love through physical contact is the equivalent of claiming to know the ocean after a stroll on the beach. It is something so immensely large in scope, so divinely deep and wide, we can only handle bits and pieces of it at a time. And our senses should only enhance our experience of it, not trivialize it in any way. It is a mysterious force. A raw power that binds us and moves us towards, not away, from each other..
As I watched this blind couple lovingly engage with each other, the verses, “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” and “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” came to mind, and I think, for the first time, I realized what they really mean…
At that moment, I understood how this interaction between the blind couple was a mirror reflection of my own relationship with God. I sit, tenderly at times, within the loving embrace and nuance of my relationship w Him/Her (sorry, seeing God as both male and female has been an important paradigm for me lately…). I don’t need to SEE him/her, I don’t need to SEE great signs and wonders (though I’m all for them), and I don’t need to HEAR His/Her audible voice. I only need to sit, and rest, in the deepest, most binding and fulfilling of all bonds…the bond of our own divine love for each other.
My atheist friend always teases me that I put so much stock in something I can’t see. That I have a relationship with a God who will possibly never show him/herself to me. But after this experience, I realized, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know the Love God has for me is real, BECAUSE I have not seen it, not IN SPITE of not seeing it.
The reality of my love for this thing, this being, this presence, is not a physical one. It’s a reality that manifests itself in the most purest of forms, a spiritual union that captivates me and cultivates the inner landscape of my soul. It is a bond we all desire from each other, but yet cannot provide. A bond that heightens our state of existence and reality, and makes the unseen things such as faith, hope, and love the essentials of human life. Turns out, it’s not bread alone that sustains us, but the Logos of God, breathed down through ages, seen now dimly in a mirror, known only in part and not yet fully known.