To Whom I’ve Loved

An old man, a good and kind man finally laid his wife to rest. He wondered what kind of man he’d be today had he never met her. He certainly knew the kind of man he had been; harsh, evil in many ways, quick to anger, miserly, contemptuous. In all of that, he wondered why she had loved him at all.

Before their courtship, he tried to talk her out of loving him and confessed he had little to offer her as the man he was. And any time after, when he would ask her, “Why do you love me?”, she would just smile and say, “Do i need a reason? I just do.”

He, however, knew from the beginning why he loved her. She was everything he was not. It was in that tension and contrast that he’d seen in her the person he ought to be, and the kind of person he wanted to become. For him, that something was love.

He imagined what place in that love there was for judgment; she saw him for what he is now but was not when they met. Nothing would have made him anymore the man now he was except that he judged himself; and rather than condemning and loathing himself, he saw what she hoped for. He was moved more by who she was than any kind of introspection of what he was not.

His final thought was remembering that “God so loved the world” and forgot about a hellish salvation and the schemes afoot to fear all toward God. If his wife could love him, if she never needed to see faults, and trusted that love changes everything, why would God need to do anything more on “Judgment Day” other than to show up to say, “Do I need a reason too? I just do.” and see everything change in response, leaving no need to punish the past; seeing all along, the goodness they’d become. What place in deed.

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