Thursday, January 16, 2014

Intimacy in the cemetery...

They pulled in quietly and started down the winding path through families and memories... Generations of stories and undoubtably over millions of tears dried into the harsh, dried ground.

He parked his blue truck in the middle of the cemetery. 

He didn't have to... The road would wind through the stones ... but he stopped.

He got out of his truck, walked around the truck and opened her door for her. He held out his hand and helped her down... he kissed her cheek.

Her husband.

He got back in the truck and watched her... 

She had trouble walking ... age wasn't her friend, but she managed... Alone. She walked far ... always remaining in his sight.

His eyes never left her.

I wondered how far she would walk... Why he didn't just drive her all the way... Why she was walking alone.
I was struck by his strength... watching her walk away toward something he obviously wasn't a part of... respecting her in the deepest, most profound way I have ever seen.
I felt the most unexplainable mixture of emotions as I watched, waiting to see the ending of this already-beautiful scene unfolding in front of me... I was an intruder, watching from afar, but completely paralyzed... I couldn't look away.

She finally stopped... She was tired. Breathing hard.  

She bent over and touched a flower that graced the stone that sat deep in the earth... Covering a life that is so obviously deeply missed.

She knelt down to her knees... quite a challenge but important to her. She folded her hands, and placed them in her lap. She touched the earth... Looked at the sky... Bent her head...

I glance back at him... Still in his truck...

His head was bent, too.

She stood up and started her long walk back ...

I don't know who she left behind. Her mom? Dad? Was it a child she lost? A husband from before? If so, before what? 

He let her walk the path back alone but met her a few feet from the truck and wrapped his arms around her. They stood in that place for what seemed like an eternity... And then he helped her back into the car. He backed up slowly and they were gone.

But I was still there... somehow changed.

I have never witnessed such intimacy as I did today while waiting to pick up my sweet girl from school. 

His gentle kiss on her cheek. The way he watched her walk away... protecting her and wanting to respect her need to go alone, but torn as he watched his love walk away... toward something he wasn't a part of. He prayed when she did. The patience he fought as she walked back toward him, wanting to let her finish what she started... but wanting her back with him as quickly as possible. The relief even I felt when she was back in his arms. His gentle guidance as he made sure she was safely in her seat... back in his care... where she belonged.
Intimacy. Defined.
The scene has played over and over in my mind all afternoon... their story is remarkable. 
I don't know it.... but I know it's remarkable.
I don't know who she left behind in that cemetery... how often she visits... how many times she's had to walk away...
Their love was so genuine. His respect for her, for the parts of her story that he doesn't quite fit in to... so pure. The secrets they shared were haunting... the intimacy between them ran deep.
Sometimes God uses the strangest places, in the weirdest circumstances, with the most random people to speak to me.... today he used a cemetery, the only 15 free minutes I had, and a couple I now strive to model in my own relationships.

Remarkable, in deed.

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