Working on editing Chapter Four this morning and my heart is full. While the chapter is learning a language of gratitude and contentment within our marriages, this is what poured from my heart this morning. Full. Overflowing. Enjoy. As I write, snow falls from trees in the same way scales fall from my eyes. I am so blessed. It’s time to let go.
Chapter Four: Bad Girl’s Guide to Intimacy – When He’s Not Enough
“The fall, the fall, Oh God, the fall of man.
The fruit is found in every eye and every hand…” Gungor.
It’s fall and we’ve been to the apple orchard twice. Picking apples is really just an added bonus to the orchard’s true purpose—warm apple cider donuts.
I abhor donuts but can eat these steaming rings of goodness by the box load. They are my true fall love, making walking to pick apples so much more important because I have all these calories to burn.
With the weather cool and the air crisp, the cynic in me is alive as I reach for the perfect apple on the highest branch of the tree and I think to myself, It wasn’t an apple. I think Eve ate a pomegranate. Do apples even grow in the Middle East? Couldn’t it have been a fig or an olive?
Not that it matters. Eve did exactly what I would have done. Given enough time, I would have had the juices dripping from my elbows as I devoured that forbidden fruit. I would have eaten with Eve.
“What type of fruit did Eve eat?” is the wrong question.
Instead we must ask: What did the fruit represent? What did Eve believe she would gain?
Eve desired more.
We understand this so well as American’s living in the 21st century. We are surrounded by the mantra of ‘just a little more’. We give each other permission to pursue ‘more’. We marvel and awe at one another’s ‘more’. We walk store to store in search of ‘more’. We save and work so we can have ‘more’.
At least this is how it has been. I think there is a generation who is exhausted by the accumulation of more. Because of the generation before us, education has become a natural part of our transition to adulthood. As we are educated, we long to see some of these other cultures about which we learn. Passport pictures are taken, returned by immigration, and retaken. Plane tickets are purchased. Backpacks are loaded. The date of the ticket arrives and we swoon with wanderlust—ready to go where our feet take us. Ready for acculturation and sophistication to recode our DNA at the same time soles touch foreign soil.
We have prepared for this moment. Immunizations. Water purification tablets. Peanut butter bars. Comfortable but trendy shoes. Yet it is our souls which were unprepared. There wasn’t a vaccination available to immune our souls to the faces of poverty. These faces have names. Beautiful names that tease our tongues. They have laughter that carries through their open air homes. These faces of poverty cook meals for us that are beyond their means, piling our plates with the largest portion—not caring that we own side-by-side refrigerators filled with food that will spoil before we turn home. This is how they love—with everything they have even when it is only a little.
There wasn’t a tablet manufactured to purify our souls from tears.
And we cry out to shed the desire for more because we have come face to face with the truth that we already have. so. much.
Our sheds, which hold stuff we don’t really need or are unwilling to sell are larger than the homes of the impoverished. Yet they live in these small quarters, generation among generation, they squeeze and live and love each other.
We begin to doubt that there are really mansion awaiting our arrival in heaven, because we recognize that is such a relative term. And we come home. And we are different. We are slightly more like the heart of Jesus because we are starting to understand that our piles of treasure are rotting and rusting our souls.
We no longer want more. We want less so that we can experience more.
I believe that God is creating this movement within our generation. He is infusing our minds, hearts, and souls with an awareness—His awareness—that the pursuit of more is the murder of our souls; but we are experiencing this movement while steeped in a culture that sells us the desire for more .
What are we to do?
We find those who are pursuing the giving of more and we watch and model our heart after theirs. When the world comes to play the game of tug-o-war, we yank a little harder and recognize that God’s on our team. We decide to fight against the desire for more, even when we lose a battle. Because let’s face it: More is never enough.