Today Jason and I remember a cold, grey and brown December day, and this evening, should all go according to plan, we’ll go out and celebrate being together on an even colder, snowy December day, five years removed. We’ll remember the giddiness of our wedding day and rejoice in the contentment and joy which we have found since then.
As we’ve neared this milestone, one song has been repeatedly sounding through my mind: “Dancing in the Minefields” by Andrew Peterson. If you haven’t heard it yet, please do–I’ll help you: here’s the music video (which–gasp!–actually doesn’t distract from the lyrics…but that’s a rant for another occasion).
At first glance, the title seems a strange, perhaps even gruesome, metaphor for marriage if we allow the “minefields” portion to dominate. It’s certainly not a sentimental image, but it is apt.
As loving, honorable and hilarious as Jason is, he is human, and so, interestingly enough, am I. On our own, the metaphor ‘s emphasis would be on the minefields. The differences between a Texas-raised American engineer and a English major/teacher brought up between two cultures (not to mention all the other internal and external factors involved) are alone enough to make for a rather precarious landscape.
However, it is the gracious intervention of the Author of our story which turns an otherwise dangerous walk into a dance.
Recently, I was perusing a private blog that I used to write in fairly regularly and I was reminded of an image that came to mind about two and half years into our marriage:
Jason and I: two separate trees, branching out in separate directions, yet woven together as we continue to grow towards each other.
For some reason, not too long ago, I found myself thinking of unity as arising from commonality in all points. Now, however, I find myself experiencing the truth that as Jason delves more into engineering and I am gravitating back to my more artistic side, we are still growing closer rather than apart. Our tastes may not always align, either. I have the same tolerance of CCR that Jason has of Andrew Peterson. And while poetry does not create a shiver of delight within him, I cannot look at an engine intelligently (my comments remain in the realm of “ooh that’s a lot of chrome” or “It’s pretty messy in there, huh?”). In all these areas, we have branches stretching out and away from the other’s immediate realm of knowledge or experience. Still–we grow together as we attempt to understand what we can of the other’s “world.”
We grow together through commonalities, to be sure: a love of hiking has probably bound us together more than any other shared activity. We both appreciate God’s creation and love walking in it, getting lost in it. Even there, however, differences arise. Good differences. I see the leaves, moss stems, wayside flowers, and patterns of rock formations as tiny, beautifully intricate works of art. Jason is more awake to the wonder of the sheer existence of these plants, flowers, waterfalls and streams. Together we see a complete picture. Our differences can propel us toward each other–the one opening the other’s eyes, mind, and heart to what we would not see on our own.
As a result, our differences create a beautiful, healthy tension that draws us up, out of ourselves. It is the tension that I believe exists in an arch (Jason will tell me if this is the case, as I am relying on a vague hunch left over from my art history class in middle school). And even if my attempt at an engineering-like statement is incorrect, a gothic arch is undeniably the result of engineering and art working in unison. Together, Jason’s and my differences work together to create union in our marriage.
A few years later from its inception–and five years after our wedding day–this image still rings true.
Here’s to the years to come: even to the minefields, and more so to the One leading our [all too often left] feet in a life-giving dance through them.