Sara and I are back from Pennsylvania, and a weekend with a bunch of Presbyterians. We had an amazing time with some amazing conversations about living loved and how all the religious noise can get in the way of that. We were there for a marriage retreat, with Sara and I sharing a couple of sessions. Being up front is not Sara’s comfort zone, but her story had a profound impact on a number of folks there, especially some of the women.
It was a pretty honest time about our own journey and our hopes in marriage. It was taped and I’m hoping to put that in the audio library when we get some copies or a link to their site. They also asked me to stay over for three Sunday morning services. Did that bring back some memories! But instead of teaching their pastor and I sat at a table and talked about the challenge to live inside a relationship with Jesus and how some of the religious elements of Christianity do more to undermine that reality than support it. That was pretty cool and the people seemed to eat it up. That was so much more fun than giving a lecture, and I think had much more impact as well. The pastor told me later that CDs ordered after the service was off the charts.
I also want to share some quotes with you. Chalk this up to finding truth in the strangest of places. And I mean really strange.
A few months ago I read a book called Beautiful Lies. It caught my eye in a bookstore and I thought it might be an interesting mystery to read when I needed an escapist novel, like when I’m pounding that exercise bike. I can’t tell you that I love the book. Parts of it were interesting, other parts were more graphic than I enjoy, and a lot of it is more girlie than I want in a mystery, but I paid for it so I was determined to read it. But there were some magnificent observations in there that transcended the plot line of this book and have come to mind often sense. I thought I’d share them here:
When you love someone, it doesn’t really matter if they love you back or not. Having love in your heart for someone is its own reward. Or punishment, depending on the circumstances. (p.51)
Nobody likes people who speak a truth you’re not prepared to hear. (p. 132)
Isn’t it just like a man to pretend that trying to control you is the same as trying to protect you? (p. 134) (I don’t know that women get a pass on this experience either!)