I just finished reading Rob Bell's new book "Drops Like Stars." Rob Bell is Jake's "man crush" so we pretty much buy everything he has written, listen to all his sermons, and have even seen him speak in NYC. It's like Christian stalking.
So this book is a bit different. It'll take you about a half hour to get through it and it's a poignant half hour. I cried the whole way through, to be honest. It's about suffering and art and unity and the meaning of life. Yeah, really a light read if you ask me :)
There is this quote I loved that I want to share, because I think really touches why Jake and I have felt called to start putting stuff about marriage out there. Rob says:
"Pain has a way of making us more honest. I know a family whose son committed suicide. He was taken to a hospital, where he laid on life support for several days, brain dead but breathing - barely. His 11 year old cousin came to the hospital to see him before the machines were turned off. When she got to the room she told [them] to leave her alone with him. [They] could hear her through the wall yelling at him: "Why did you do this? I am so angry with you!" She said what everybody wanted to say. She did what everybody wanted to do. It's the art of honesty.....Like an 11 year old girl yelling at her hours from officially dead cousin, "Why would you do this?" Which is the question everybody wanted to yell at him. Do you know that feeling in class when somebody raises his hand and says, "I don't get it," and you feel so relieved that you aren't the only one who wasn't getting it? That's what great artists do. That's what great people do. They ask it. They say it. They express it. They put into words what so many others are thinking and feeling and wondering. They affirm that...YOU AREN'T THE ONLY ONE HAVING THIS EXPERIENCE ."
I'm not trying to insinuate that Jake and I are "great people" or anything. That's not my point. Rob Bell's words say what we really, really wish the world would be like when it comes to talking about marriage. Every marriage takes work, sacrifice, commitment, endurance, honesty, love, forgiveness, redemption...and well...grit. Why can't we all be open about it? Why don't people talk about it? Why do so many churches and Christians make us feel like we have to have it all together to be a follower of God? Pretend like everything is ok to others in the church...because who knows what they'll think about you if you tell the truth?!
Jake just got back from his second missions trip this month and his brother went with him on this last one. Jake was telling me how he and the high school guys on the trip were talking about honeymoon sex one night. I was like, "Wait! Did you talk to your BROTHER about our honeymoon sex??!!" And Jake was like (all nonchalant) , "Yeah, I told him how the first time things didn't "fit in" properly and how it wasn't all I expected it to be and how we had to work at sex to make it good." I admit...I was embarrassed to have my 18 year old bro-in-law know this about my sex life. I mean, gross right? But then I thought for a second and realized...hey you know, because Jake was honest with his brother, maybe when his brother gets married and goes on a honeymoon, we will have saved him and his future wife some hurt, confusion, and disappointment. Maybe they'll know before-hand what to expect and it will save them the 2 years it took Jake and I to work through a lot of crap about sex because of what happened on the honeymoon.
Why? Because they will know that they're not alone. That most people struggle with sex and making it work, making it good. That's the kind of thing Jake and I hope will come about because of the blog and hopefully a book. We don't have the answers...but that's ok. We'll never have all the answers until we're in heaven and we can go, "Ok God what the heck is UP with with this marriage thing?" But if we can all be honest with each other for right now, it can help to bring us together, help each other through, and learn from all the different experiences we each bring to the table.
Rob Bell at the end of the book explains the title "Drops Like Stars" comes from his 3 year old nephew gazing out at rain one day and saying, "Stars. Stars. Stars." The little boy thought that for a split second when a rain drop hits the ground, it looks like a star. Talk about redemption.....it takes a child to see that when something falls and explodes...it looks like a star. It's so true of who we are, what marriage is, who God is. It's the times we fall...the times things explode...it's those times that we grow, learn, survive, become more transparent and real....and become more like stars :)