Okay, this is less Virtual Church and more real time realization. We are at our house at the river. Today it only sprinkled a little rain before the sun came out. The wind blew hard. Church this morning was blessing. At the Arapahoe UMC we sat on the Linda Row. Even their newest member is named Linda. She found her perfect place on a row that is named for her.
The afternoon was spent doing yard work. Not me. The DJ did the work. I was the encourager. After Happy Time with our neighbors, the DJ cooked chicken wings on the back porch with Pandora playing Beach Music hits. The DJ knew the songs. He knew record labels and in many instances he knew how long the song lasted. On 45 rpm records the time was listed to give the DJ some idea how to program the show.
I married the DJ, also known as Tom Terrific, in 1965. I was 19; he was 20. For the years we lived in Greenville, I was known as Mrs. Terrific. It was swell to be Mrs. Terrific.
The DJ and his buddies were experts in knowing the hits. Tom, Don, and Jim grew up with them. Once at M and M’s Tom and Jim almost won the name that tune game. They were gold. They could name all the songs with just the few opening notes, every song.… until the hits of 1985 were played. They were out of the game. They had not kept up with the song.
When we attended Don’s wife’s funeral this week, we thought about all the blessings of love and long relationships and the ways we are bound together, even if we don’t see each other, even if we are mad and disappointed with each other, at the end of the day we realize that to share life and laughter and love is the best gift God offers us. Money, success and fame do not come close.
We live in a time when quarrels threaten to divide us – in the church and in our country, when our own pride or fear of whatever it is that our egos drag us into threaten to destroy us. All the while time passes, daylight or standard, we try to fool ourselves; still it goes quickly. However it goes, it is held by God. We are merely passers by. But we have known each other in this precious meantime.
Quarrels within, quarrels without have little meaning when the DJ and his bride hear My Girl, or Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay and remember the gift of love we share after 53 years. A little dancing on the back porch with the smell of chicken wings grilling. This life is so good, and the circle is tightening. Every person on the planet has a right to love who they love and to live in covenant relationship that lasts a lifetime. I want that for everybody.
My church has voted to deny that to some people. It is an odd vote to me, one who has essentially lived a very traditional plan. One man, one woman. Celibacy in singleness, fidelity in marriage. Monogamy and faithfulness were part of the commitment and covenant we made to each other a long time ago.
Divorce statistics and personal stories tell me that there is particular violation of parts of the Discipline’s statements surrounding Human Sexuality. What happened to the statements of fidelity and marriage? Are we living those statements now? How many among us have lived one man, one woman… at a time? Or one woman and one man… at a time? How many among us have had extra marital affairs? I am stunned in the hypocrisy of it all. How can we justify our decision? The Discipline? The Bible? What is the real justification?
Can you hear a new song? New music is playing all around us. 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Back step. Let’s not take that back step. Instead let us celebrate the love that is growing among us, join the General Dance and love one another as God has loved us. Tell Me. Do ya, do ya, do ya, do ya wanna to dance?