Sunday, November 14, 2010

How Tears Came To Be

One day in my third year of architecture school I was sitting in studio, very intently drawing some geometric forms after having read "The Poem of the Right Angle" by one of my favorite architects, and suddenly everything clicked. See, my professor seemed to be on to something ever since I had met him in first year. That was why I took him third year. I spent about two thirds of that third year moping around, because I couldn't figure out what he was talking about....ever. But I knew, by intuition, that somehow it was all connected, and that somehow he was correct in what he was saying.

Then suddenly this day, with this poem and architect in the background, drawing geometric configurations of how things come to be in the world (I realized as I was drawing them), it all clicked. I was filled with exhilaration and excitement, and was covered in goose bumps. I was so excited I was jumping up and down, and everyone around me (the late stragglers in our 3 hour studio class, who were having some typical deeply intellectual conversation with my professor and hadn't yet gone to dinner) was wondering what on earth was going on, lol. It wasn't the kind of thing you keep to yourself, so I had to go over to them and share. I felt a kind of high for the next day or so.

Well today something happened to me that reminded me of that experience. I had what has been for me lately an unusual period of almost two hours to sit, relax, read, and spend time with God as best you can in the middle of Starbucks. I have been reading Every Man's Battle (which I finished a little while ago) and Every Man's Marriage (even though I'm single), and I have gotten to the end of the Marriage one, where he starts to talk about sex. I am toward the end of the book, so I was expecting to finish with time to spare before I had to be at work. But he kept saying such simple things that were so profound and hit me so deeply that I found myself stopping, thinking and praying often (subtly, since I was in Starbucks).

I guess my heart must have softened, because the next thing I knew my life was flashing before my eyes, I was having a deep moment of repentance at the core of my soul, and I had tears streaming down my cheeks - right there in the middle of Starbucks. Just from reading the following rather simple few of sentences: "God knew our desire for intimacy - and how we could attain it - from the beginning. He knew that women give and receive intimacy through sharing, talking, hugging, and touching. After all, He created her so that men might not be lonely. These traits are perfectly fitted to that purpose."

The train of the authors thoughts were obviously heading somewhere, but he blew me right off his tracks with that, lol. I felt the same kind of exhilaration I felt that day in the middle of studio while drawing geometric forms, as well as the same desire to share with others this seemingly universal and powerful truth that had just hit me so squarely between the eyes!

So I had to stop reading, because "it all came together" for me! Just as I put so much energy in college into trying to figure out what my professor was saying, I have spent similar amounts of time, energy, and willpower lately trying to piece my sexuality back together after a lifetime of brokenness. I had mentioned that I was moping around campus that year, but recently I've been on this journey full of hope and joy, deeply moved by a new found faith in myself, in God, and in God's plan for my life. Suddenly lately, life-long purity seems possible, so its obviously an occasion for joy. And just as I couldn't quite grasp what my college professor was saying but had enough intuition to know he was correct, I knew the author of this Every Man series was onto something.

I was excited and inspired by everything he said about purity in Battle, and about how service, sacrifice and (mutual) submission edifies your wife (and the husband) in Marriage and tends to give her a feeling of intimacy, thus bringing life to the marriage bed (which is such a stronger and more central desire for the husband)....but....there was something more. Simply, why? Why was all of this so true? Architecturally, when I find myself asking why questions, I know enough by now to know that they are usually a clue to look back to the beginnings of whatever it is I'm asking about. But in the area of my sexuality, my weakness, my blindness, I couldn't see clearly enough to even think to look back to the beginning. Nor even to consciously ask "why?" And yet here was some relatively simple-minded macho-manly almost-anti-intellectual author - with a core theological notion about some funny "sin nature" and a thoroughly modern anthropology I don't enjoy or agree with - answering a profoundly simple question that I hadn't even thought to ask!! And in such a powerful way, with utter nonchalance, that he left me in tears. How humbling, lol.

And of course, because "it all came together" I saw ever so clearly how I had been tearing it apart for my entire life! In the presence of God, and with no thoughts of beating myself up over it, I was in full realization of just how in the wrong I'd been my whole life! I saw just how utterly blind and selfish I have always been. God set it up PERFECTLY - not only "IN MY FAVOR", but as a kind of "favor" to me ("God saw that it was not good for man to be alone") - and up until recently I have been doing EVERYTHING I POSSIBLY CAN to obliterate the fragile picture of unity, wholeness and intimacy that God painted on the souls of a man and a woman - FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

God took her from man's rib. Woman CAME FROM MAN to be his companion. This is a rather deep and profound truth that I had intuited enough to ponder, but never really understand. This is another dose of "it all coming together" after my spending so much time, energy and willpower seeking after an amazing realization that included the simple fact that God made woman from man as his companion and then gave her all the most perfect gifts and desires for relationship at the core of her soul (such as being hospitable, sympathetic, caring, nurturing and a good judge of character) to meet that purpose and reflecting that origin. And lets not forget the never ending and amazing mystery of her beauty that draws us as well, and gives us all the more extra reason to cherish her and build her up! How amazingly magnificent for both the man and the woman!!

I mean, there it is right there in the script for the universe from the beginning, in plain English, ever so simple, and I not only missed it, but I trampled all over it with the way I constantly objectified women sexually (I mean in general, but not in every instance, of course, but you get the point). I ran hard after sexuality to find intimacy, while God, from the very beginning, had ALREADY SET IT UP for me to have the intimacy I was looking for, out of which sexuality arises!! How foolish could could I have been!? I could have said whatever I wanted about the value of woman and her gifts and tried to understand and listen to her as best I could, but my actions told the truth. I was being a selfish pig, and my selfishness blinded me to a reality not only of who Woman is, but to an ever so much greater general reality in harmony with how the universe came to be.

"Male and female He made them in his image." I guess there is a reason why marriage is depicted in the Bible as being analogical to worship. The joy of such a realization, combined all in the same moment with being impressed by the Holy Spirit to the point of such conviction of how wrong I have always been in my actions, thoughts and attitude - and in such a gentle and non-violent way - was overwhelming to me. So there I was, crying cleansing tears of joy and repentance all in one in the middle of Starbucks, lol. And I have felt high ever since.

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