He saw it coming. He knows the drill by now. Before she could tell him for the hundredth time to finish the green things on his plate, he tilted his head and smiled at her.
“Why I love you so much, Mom?”
“I don’t know,” Becky answered, “why do you love me so much?”
He rolled his eyes upward to search his skull for the answer. Finding it, his eyes focussed again on his mother; his smile gave way to resignation.
“Jesus tell me to.”
To which Becky responded, “Back atcha, buddy.”
To which Sambhaji responded by sulkily stabbing his salad with a fork, then lifting and stuffing the greens into his mouth.
The last ten months have been the hardest for our marriage, for our family.
That’s a hard statement to defend. No one is physically ill. No one is officially mentally ill. The refrigerator and pantry and bank account have never run empty. We have work, clothes, a house and church. Everything we need. But everything’s different and different has been hard.
Adoption has given us love. A new person to be loved by. A new person to love. But sometimes – some weeks, a lot of times – we love only because Jesus tells us to. We tolerate, hold our tongue, going through the motions of love that missing feelings once moved us through effortlessly.
We feel disrespected, detached, unappreciated, frustrated, sad, disjointed, helpless, inadequate, angry, lonely, impatient…and so guilty for feeling any of this at all.
We know there’s a better love, a more profound and generous and beautiful love, but this love is all we have sometimes.
And this is family isn’t it? Commitment that isn’t circumstantial, whose roots wriggle way down to stretch deeper than feeling, relationship with a memory longer than the present moment.
When I can’t find the feelings to fuel it. When circumstances aren’t conducive to it. God, love through me today. Especially at dinner.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20