There have been a few truly vulnerable moments between Nicole and I over the years, but none quite as much as a truly gut wrenching, tear filled, (metaphorically) naked moment in my truck back in 2006. I managed to share–for the first time–the true depth of my shame, fear, and pain hidden just beneath the wise, light hearted, and rational surface of my public self. It was the scariest, and ultimately the most intimate night of our lives.
We fell in love that night. Both of us went into it fearing that the other would turn and run, but instead we both felt truly accepted–shit and all–by another person. We knew there was no going back.
Since then our relationship has not been “understandable”, even by us. Our relationship has instead transcended rationality. I can’t explain exactly why we fell in love. I can only tell a story of when it happened. Honestly, trying to rationalize it feels like a cheapening of that night and the days, weeks, months, and years that followed.
I have heard “Love” language used to describe what God wants with me. I have even heard sexual language describing the same. But as I reflect on that night in 2006, I can say that God and I had never experienced love. I have tried to force a love relationship between us forged out of my best theological reflection and biblical study, but that–when compared to how I fell in love with Nicole–seems to miss the point entirely.
I don’t usually like to let others see my vulnerability. I like others to see me as wise, rational, and trustworthy. I am going to risk shattering that image by letting you in on something that sort of embarrasses me.
Right here, right now, I feel like I am in that truck with God, spilling all of my shame, fear, and pain, laying myself bare and hoping that God doesn’t turn and run. But just as I allow all of my defenses to fall I feel like I am being met, not by a powerful, proud, rational, composed God, but rather a naked, weak, shamed, beaten, and crucified Jesus.
For the first time in my life I feel as if it is not a lie to say that I am falling in love with God.