Paradise

"I was sleeping in the garden when I saw you firstHe'd put me deep, deep under so that he could work And like the dawn you broke the dark and my whole earth shook I was sleeping in the garden when I saw you

At last, at last Bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh, at last

You were the brightest shade of sun I had ever seen Your skin was gilded with the gold of the richest kings And like the dawn you woke the world inside of me You were the brightest shade of sun when I saw you"

The Oh Hellos "Like the Dawn"

(I quoted these lyrics in my last post.  On the other side of the adventure they stirred, I am seeing them differently.)

For me, going to the garden of Eden, Kauai, is as much about her as it is the garden.  Pardon me for referencing one of the cheesiest movie lines of all time, but there is a completing I find in her that is so holy, so foundational, that the garden is not really the garden, without her.  He placed her there for me because He knew it was no good for me to be there without her.

Beyond all the ways that your mind might already be imagining, she completes the picture of Him for me.  His mercy, kindness, and fierce love for me, is embodied in her.  I know Him better, because of her.

Can you imagine what it must have been like for Adam to see her for the first time?  Mere words could not explain.  Like the calm, controlled, and clearly articulated Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, we are reduced to a stuttering mess trying to get the words out to her...

"You must know... surely, you must know it was all for you...If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I...love...I love...I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on."

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll2H3TIt0PE[/embed]

If you love me, tell me, and everything will be okay.  It not, tell me, and I will go die quietly somewhere.  Seriously Darcy!  He is breathlessly captivated by her.  "Bewitched" he says.  And so are we.  Mr. Darcy seems to be saying, "Take me out of this friggin' misery you have me in one way or another.  He is a "hot mess".

All of that is both holy and misguided at the same time.

Being in awe of God's creation, experiencing an a deeper sense of his grace/mercy, and knowing a deeper understanding of love than we thought possible...is holy.

Seeing her as answer, relief, or the ultimate solution...is misguided.

I carry all of that with me to Kauai.  What is both holy and misguided.  So much expectation.  The celebration of 25 years of marriage.  The culmination of so much support and contribution of others.  A once-in-a-lifetime trip at the threshold of an incredible life gate.  So much on the other side.

Expectation. Exhaustion from the weeks leading up to our time away.  All of that conspired, along with our enemy, to completely undermine our first few days.  Interpreting every word and action through our wounds, we heard lies and made agreements.  We reached out in our despair and help came.

The rescue seemed almost instantaneous.

Seemed like it was all over before it started.

Paradise was re-found.

For twenty-five years, it has been worth the fight.  Worth the repeated breakthroughs.  Worth going through more seasons of slogging through wounds, lies, and deceptions to find the truth.

What I know to be really true, we found in the garden.

I have a Father who knows me and loves me.

He desires good things for me.

There is unfathomable beauty and glory available.

She is part of the proof of it.