How I Lost 20 Pounds (of Cynicism)
- 2016 Apr 18
About a year ago, I wrote on a date in my calendar. In pen. Blue ink.
On Memorial Day 2015, my husband and I celebrated our two-year dating anniversary. I remember so vividly that day. Our walk on the beach. Our dinner at a seafood joint aptly named C.P. Shuckers on the boardwalk. The way he shared his bacon-wrapped scallops with me. The way the citrus wine gathered in little drops on the side of my glass.
The way my heart beat in my chest as he reached across the table for my hand and told me -- in no uncertain terms -- that he wanted me to be his girlfriend. The way he kissed me that night in his driveway.
And the way I kept asking: are you sure?
A few years ago, the anniversary wasn't such a given. I looked at the date months beforehand in my calendar. I wrote it in my calendar. Put a little pink highlighter heart on it. Scratched it out. Wrote it again. Then colored back over it in black Sharpie.
I didn't doubt that we'd still be together. Necessarily. I just didn't want to look foolish if we weren't. So instead of hoping for the future, I crossed it out.
An anniversary with this man would either be a dream come true or a total nightmare. Depending on whether or not we actually got there.
But we're nearly two years into this now. A lot of trust has grown between us. He asked me to marry him. He's looking for places for us to live while I'm at the office. He's taking part in making a large decision for the both of us. And what's more, I want him to.
There's something very liberating about being able to write in ink on the calendar for this man. Being able to be sure in his character, his consistency.
There are dates in my calendar written in ink. There are dates that are filled with hope for a future. Without the impending fear that something bad will happen. That something will go wrong. That he'll stop loving me. That we'll find a fight that makes it impossible for us to move forward.
After all, that seems to be the attitude most people hold about most everything these days. The law of cynicism tells us that if something can go wrong, it will.
And it makes it impossible for us to ever write in ink.
This isn't to say that life doesn't disappoint. That we don't live in a world of flaws and backwards values. This week is no exception.
I'm saying that living under the incessant impulse to check our backs, to watch what we say, to expect the worst is exhausting.
It's like living with twenty extra pounds on our backs and thighs. You don't realize how heavy it is until you lose it all and you hold it in your hands. And you can't believe how you ever managed to hold on that long.
I've been living my faith-life in the same way.
Unwilling to write in ink. Unwilling to be sure in Christ and his goodness. I think that must be why scripture tells us to have childlike faiths. Their unburdened. Unwarranted. They write in bright crayola crayons and they scratch on (and off) the page. They don't expect doomsday. They don't know anything about the sky falling.
They simply draw it on the page in an irreversible way. They trust. They hope.
They write in ink. They teach us to do the same.