“Rudy B” is a man I never met, but I’m intrigued by his life. Aurora B, his widow, has become a friend over the last three years, and just yesterday I learned that her husband, who went by Rudy B, just passed away in October, 2014. We spent a little while with tears and an embrace yesterday when she informed me of this. I promised her I’d honor Rudy B’s memory here on my blog. I bring him up on Valentine’s Day on purpose, because he was truly, from what I’ve come to know through Aurora, one of the most loving and gentle and romantic husbands I’ve encountered. One of Rudy B’s practices in their marriage – they were friends since age 4 by the way – was to turn up the music in their home and dance Aurora around their home. Everyone knew that Rudy B absolute loved his bride, but these kinds of affectionate embraces in the privacy of one’s home are where genuine romantic affection is truly displayed. They would go to bed every night, said Aurora yesterday, holding hands and saying sweetly, “Another 20 years!” This is not only a story of intentional showing of love to one’s spouse, some duty to fulfil on one’s vows – extremely important as it is, but this is a story of genuine and consistent celebration of relationship with one’s beloved. When we cast off our critical behaviors and celebrate our beloved, love grows more consistently and even with a reckless joy. That is part of the nature of eros love, friends! You know this. But, this Valentine’s day, remember to let your love spill over a bit and let yourself lean into the celebratory side of romantic love. Don’t try to be the polished lover so much as the celebrating lover, who let’s love be genuine and lasting, not so much a performance.
At an even deeper level of the keys to love that lasts, our intimate relatings with God Himself have benefits in human spirit-to-spirit relationships at every point on our priority lists. Wherever you are at in relationship with people, you/we have the opportunity for the deepest intimacy possible in the human experience, a loving walk of trust in the Presence and Promises of our Redeeming God in Jesus Christ. As I encountered God this morning in my prayers of trust after reading Exodus 33 & 34, my heart softened and expectations and hopes for being a good husband, father, brother, and friend… these expectations and hopes were both broken down and built up… Why? They dissolved a bit as I thought on Moses and Joshua and the holy presence and power and worth and glory of our God! Daily encounters with God at the personal level of listening to Him in His word, prayer and giving up our burdens to Him, and listening for His Spirit’s distilling His promises specific to each of our situations and needs and prayers… What an awesome fellowship that is available to us as individual disciples of Jesus and as His followers as His body here in time on Earth.
You are God in Heaven, LORD. We want to encounter You in a whole new way, LORD, and we want our intimate and real encounters with You to transform all of our human relationships in the space and time of our earthly lives, yet, Oh God, we don’t want this for selfish gain or to use our relationships to take. We know Your priorities for our lives, that we would live up Your name, Oh LORD, our God. May You be our ultimate aim in every encounter, and may we fellowship with Christ in His sufferings and sorrows. May our trials in relationship with one another draw us into sweeter encounters with You and a more intimate trust relationship with You, our God. May Jesus be more real to us today, and may our loves, at every level, be healthy and wholesome because we walk in step with the very Spirit of the Living God and enjoy Your presence in every space we fill in this life. In Christ’s name, Amen.
May marriage be prized on this day, and may we celebrate the truest loves as God has given them to us.
In the joy and love of our God in Jesus Christ,