January 22, 2013

just ask isaiah

Recently I attended my first wedding in the East. I wish had some over-the-top, noisy, bustling, radically-different wedding to describe to you. But to be honest, the wedding was quite Western in feel. The bride wore a white gown, carried a bouquet and cut a cake. The vows were much like vows my friends would say in Canada. It was solid; it was true. But as far as Asian cultural experiences go, this one didn't top the charts.

Weddings (no matter the continent) are fantastic for making singles feel single-er. There's the awkward moment when someone's husband offers to dance with you; his wife is away. There's the thoughtful moment when your couple-friends offer to dance the silly group dance with you as a threesome, so you won't be alone. And there's the end of the night, when people go all Noah's ark on you: they pair up and head to their stalls. And you just go to your stall, on your own.  

Sometime between the kiss and the bouquet toss, it's easy to lose perspective and feed self-pity. Weddings remind me that I'm not married. It's out there; it's obvious. Almost like being one of two blondes in a crowd of 500 wedding-goers is obvious.



"People don't really not marry here," explained the thirty-something friend, talking about what it's like to be single in a society that has no place for singles. She's a social oddity.

"Do your relatives pester you about being unmarried?" I asked. They do, but she's learned to pretend their nattering doesn't affect her, so they bring it up less frequently. "But it does bother me."

I wonder where she hangs the "bother," the irritation that it must be, that she is The Single One.  Where does she pin her heaviness? I know I would need a place for it. What I mean to say is, I know I have a place for it.



I've been listening to Isaiah, and the story there is vast. Spend a while even just in Isaiah 40. God talks of world powers, kings and empires like they are dust. Carved images are chunks of perishable wood. All humanity is as weak as grasshoppers; as frail as grass or chaff. The longer you listen, the more you realize this: He's the only One that is everlasting.

Isaiah speaks of a story that has spanned all continents, all centuries, all people. Indeed, it spans our universe. It's a big deal. He's The Big Deal. And the rest of this down here? It's fleeting: "marriage and giving in marriage" amongst humans is only for this life. He urges all of us to consider the things of eternal importance. "Seek ye first...."

This is the second time lately that I post what Paul said: "What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)



When I see my life from His perspective, everything changes. What about my new friend, where does she pin her heaviness? There's a place for it. What's your heaviness? There's a place for it. 

He's the place for it. (Just ask Isaiah).

No comments:

Post a Comment