Friday, January 15, 2016

Falling in Like

I don´t mind that our courtship has been rather unusual (or yes, super weird in many people´s eyes)! I don´t mind because it has been more wonderful and sweet than any experience I could have ever tried to imagine. As I look back, I have to smile at some of our early journey together. Here is an excerpt from almost a year ago...February 2015...

It wasn´t something we consciously discussed. Neither of us ever formally agreed to not utter the expression “I love you” to the other. We just knew. I knew that he wasn´t planning to say it soon and he knew the same about me.

This unique and slightly comical aspect of our relationship was made more obvious to me the day Joshua looked up from his homework and said slowly, “I really like you, Ariana.” Struck as I often am by his sweetness, I unhesitatingly smiled and replied, “I truly like you too, Joshua.” A strange smile took over his face as he noted, “So I guess we´re falling in like with each other.”

As it stands, we are nearing six months of the most special courtship ever and no, we haven´t directly used the word “Love” to describe our feelings toward each other. 

Our reasoning is rather simple. In short, we are saving the phrase “I love you” much like one would save a kiss. Not because the words (or the kiss) are wrong. To the contrary, they are so especially beautiful that we want to be sure we understand their true meaning. We are not afraid of the word but we do revere it.

Sixteen months ago something happened to us. We realized that we had underestimated Love—God´s Love. We had no idea how to truly Love our God. Our discussions concerning how much we lacked a basic understanding of the Universe's greatest power—the active Love of our Creator—filled many a Facebook message. We developed a new respect for the word that God Himself uses to describe His essence. We became aware of how rashly we had declared our love for God in the past. We even took to capitalizing “Love” in all our correspondence to commemorate our conviction.

To be genuinely in Love is an experience that the Creator of the Universe must gift two hearts with. To be genuinely in Love is to be touched and filled by God Himself.  

It is possible to be precipitous and presumptuous with a word that is supposed to mean everything self-sacrificing, unending, strong and pure. And thus, Joshua and I will save our “I love you” until the time God impresses us to calmly and confidently declare His closeness to our hearts. For now, we are quite delighted to be falling in like.    

P.S. The perfect time turned out to be August 29, 2015 when Joshua couldn´t hold back the words "I Love you" any longer and proposed to me atop our special bridge!  

Monday, January 11, 2016


We all know a bit too much about imperfect.

It´s all around us. It´s inescapable.

Imperfect is when a college student does not return from class because they´ve been shot.

Imperfect is when the kids in El Salvador´s streets cannot avoid gangs, rape and empty futures. 

Imperfect is when families in Syria have access to no safe place on the entire planet. 

Imperfect is when the little girl still thinks her parent´s divorce was her fault.

Imperfect is the 17-year-old in court who has tried to stop smoking marijuana for two years but can´t, and all the rehab facilities have waiting lists.

Imperfect is an irregular heartbeat on an EKG that scares me.

Imperfect is the hidden tears on the young face of one I love. 

We know too much about imperfect.

Our belief in anything—humanity, reforms, beauty, God—waxes thin and our hearts grow tired of loving. But something inside of us shouts for reason…for don´t you only label things as imperfect because your soul also knows that perfect exists? Isn´t all this chaos of imperfection inversely defining some pristine and yet illusive concept of perfection?

Perhaps there is a “perfect” Love that would make us entirely less afraid. Perhaps there is a “perfect” way by which imperfect beings can be made spotless again through the grace and sacrifice of another. Perhaps there is a “perfect” sequence of events weaving itself above and beyond and through all this imperfection. Perhaps the only way for the superiority of Perfection to be made convincingly manifest is to let the ugliness of imperfection run its course. Perhaps this mess of broken and fallen realities will draw us, without force or coercion, to develop a loyalty within us that will never allow this to happen again.