Friday, 27 July 2007

Tonight is the 6th wedding anniversary for Jen and I. I pulled out a copy of my wedding vows to her to read. A small reminder of where we’ve been and how God has been framing our journey since the early days.

When she misted up as I finished, I turned and said, “Did my poetry to you make you cry?”

To which she said, sniff, sniff, “I have allergies.”

In the immortal words of the 77’s, this is the way love is.

Jennifer —

Before God, our community, our family, I covenant with you — to be your husband. As Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, I vow to love you as my wife and give myself up for you.

I covenant to love you with the deep, wide, sustaining, mysterious, knowable love of Christ —

A love that is bold and broken
A love that is graceful and firm
A love that encourages and challenges
A love that listens and speaks and listens and speaks and listens and speaks and listens…

I vow to trust in God for our provision while being diligent to provide for you and our family with the resources God has trusted me with. I welcome the responsibility of leading and pastoring our family in the truth of Christ — His Word, His Promises, His Practicalities.

I covenant —

To repent when I sin against you.
To be slow to anger when you sin against me
To teach the truth I have known
To be teachable where I have a lot to learn

I covenant —

To ask your forgiveness when my pride wounds you
And to be quick to forgive you when you need to be forgiven
To be obedient to God — even when it is not convenient, even when it is not expedient

I vow to never leave you, nor forsake you. To care for, protect, honor, and love you for the rest of my life. I thank God, you, our community, our family, for the blessing you are to my life.

I have impatiently grumbled to God for many seasons as to what my provision would look like. On this, our wedding night, I thank God for you, my provision, and I must say before this gathering that, you look good.

I look forward, as husband and wife, to being nourished by God’s Joy through famine into laughter.

Friday, 30 June 2006

‘Me Too’ Conversations

Some additional thoughts on Susan Mernit’s session on the web and sexuality at Gnomedex — I think that having what I would call naked and unashamed conversations (to modify a phrase) about sex in blogs, etc. is a really compelling way to provoke ourselves into talking about important stuff in our face to face relationships.

There are so many instincts that tell us to not talk about anything that may leave us exposed and venerable — and yet, when we do that, especially in an online context, so many cool things happen (in my experience anyway).

Whether it’s discussing frank and aggressive sex in the context of marriage or talking through the ups and downs of your relationships or working through depression — whenever I take the figleaf away for a moment (or my beautiful wife does), people come out of the woodwork to say the same thing, over and over —

Me too.

Two powerful little words that aren’t technology words — no Web 2.0 — no huge business plan to take over the world (or save it).

Two words that are just, well, human — and really powerful.

She Wants to Know…

Related to the previous post about ‘Sex at Gnomedex‘ — also just noticed that I’d never reposted the poem I wrote to propose to Jen after switching over to a blog format. Here is is — rigns as true today as it did when I penned it in 2001.

She Want’s to Know…
by Bryan Zug

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again — then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

– – –

this has always been here
     though we are just now uncovering it

this has always been here
     though we are just now discovering it

– – –

she has just asked me
how i know
that she is the one

and there is so much to say about the past and the future and the moment unfolding before us — sitting across a table eating Saturday morning eggs at the breakfast pub on 45th and Stone

she wants to know
the method of my surety —
     how I have discerned
     its measure is not madness

and my answer is simply this —
i know because i have chosen.

     chosen to dive for these pearls
     chosen to dig for this treasure
     chosen to love her first
     and last
     and among
     all that lies in this middle

and make no mistake
there is much that lies in this middle —
     split tongue undertones
     of compatibilities?
     too soons?
     and happily ever afters?

i will push these half-truths into full light
and say plainly —

     we are not compatible —
     we are wicked
     and only by Grace made able

     we are not going to live “happily” ever after —
     we will be nourished by Joy,
     through famine into laughter

     we will be blessed in restful wrest —
     a marriage bed of ordered mess

i have seen Salvation
i know what Covenant looks like
i testify on the sapphire foundation of Surety —
     i love because He first loved me

– – –

this has always been here
     though we are just now uncovering it

this has always been here
     though we are just now discovering it

– – –

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

“O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.”

Sex at Gnomedex (the luxurious use of the F-Bomb in church)

Am looking forward to participating in Susan Mernit’s ‘Sex & Longing & Web 2.0‘ session at Gnomedex today.

Hope to read th risqué and beautifully provocative poem ‘Hey You’ by Linford Detweiler of Over the Rhine that I posted to a publicly viewable church bulletin board back in 2001 — an action that played a part in the chain of events that I call ‘the wooing my beautiful wife Jen’.

Text is below — it’s got a luxurious use of F-bombs — you’ve been warned — now take a quick read while nobody’s looking.

Hey You
by Linford Detweiler

Fuck me, she says,
And it’s not an exclamation
It’s a plea

Fuck me feels different
In the marriage bed
It’s not like it’s forbidden

Fuck can be such a hateful word
But she’s in love
Trying on the name wife for size

Fuck me sort of suits her
She loves to laugh
And she wants something carefree and crude

Fuck me and all of a sudden it’s a playful prayer
We both still want to do something good for the world
We both believe in miracles

Fuck me and there are better words for it
We both know
But the way she says it makes you wonder

Fuck me please I’m soppy and smooth
The world is disappearing
And it’s not so much the please it’s the possibility:

It’s the possibility
That this life is going to break us into pieces
Knock us reeling and silly with painful joy

And the word fuck is suddenly a tiny praise chorus
A slap happy swing at a tipsy God
The joke’s on us

And this is our sweet redeemer
Looking down on a tangle of man and wife
A happily shipwrecked bed

It’s not like he hasn’t seen it before
But he’s even blessed a dirty word
Thank you Lord

. . .
copyright 2000, Linford Detweiler