“I don’t want to let it go, but if it’s between it and us, then there’s no argument. I choose us.”
“So let’s fight for this. Let’s stop fighting each other. We both want the same thing, even if we have different ideas.”
Last night was one of those movie scene experiences. If you’re a human, with human relationships, and you’ve ever watched a movie with its cinematic toes dug into the mud and gunk and crunchy happiness of relationships, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s like slow motion. It’s like there should be dramatic music playing and story reel rolling, in between “present day” images of characters suddenly dealing with all the nuts and bolts of a rocket ship they’ve been building, but apparently not very well.
I’m rambling. You might have to deal with that if you want to continue reading.
Last night, in the middle of lovely, in the middle of “Hey let’s record the demo for that song we just wrote this afternoon that’s going to be incredible and impact hearts for Jesus and become beloved by worship leaders everywhere…” (admittedly we don’t say those things out loud but the root of all grandiose ideas are a tiny little bit of ego mixed with just the right amount of self-delusion and a sprinkling of hope), in the middle of all that lovely delusion and hopefulness, the festering cancerous thing you can call pride or sin or flesh or self or a sick heart, well it made its intentions very clear.
Let me speak frankly. Being married is cutthroat. I’m not saying having a spouse to share life with is cruel or harmful in and of itself, but the violence of living life joined to another person, who at least twenty times a day is going to recognize the grating pain of being attached to you while, twenty times a day, you are also feeling the tender bruises of it all, as you push and nudge and poke and pull in your constant effort to remain yourself and not allow the other person to take from you WHO you are…well it’s ugly. It’s dreadfully ugly, but only if we fight against each other, only if we fight the teaching of Christ to submit to one another, build each other up, LOVE each other by laying down our right to have our own way. Yeah, but we never fight, do we?
So there we were, in the midst of creating something legendary with our music, and the fight ripped through our hopes and dreams to expose just how delusional we were. What were we fighting about? Well not anything happening at that moment, of course. No we were fighting about EVERYTHING, every little moment of tension, offense or disagreement that has happened in the history of the world…
Well not exactly, but we were fighting about every note, every transition, arrangement, half measure intro, lyric choice, and song tempo down to the beats per minute…because we don’t agree on any of it, or at least we didn’t, in the midst of the fight. Actually, I don’t know if I can call it a “fight”. It was more like an intense and devastating realization that we can’t do this, we can’t write music together, because we are too different…Followed by a lot of crying by me and a lot of tactics to try and stop my crying by him.
The violence. The violence of becoming one. How beautifully horrific it is. But when the dust settles. When the words turn off, and the tears dry up, and it’s almost dawn, and you’re putting down your weapons, and you’re holding onto the only thing that is worth the fight, the violence has forced you to take a look at the wounds and scrapes and scars, not the ones on your own heart, but the ones you inflicted on the person you will never be free of, and don’t want to be.
The violence has shaken loose all the nuts and bolts of your rocket ship, and you realize it’s going to crash if you don’t put things back where they belong. So you put your hand in the hand of that other person, who is part of you but not you, and you write a song together, a song about being yourself but also being who they need you to be…. A song about rocket ships and movies with violence and happy endings.
This is the sweetest life.