I don’t remember clearly what I said to Stefen when he told me he was going to get married. I probably said congratulations or something like that. I think I have a hard time remembering what I said because I never know what to say in life changing situations. And I think I don’t know what to say in life changing situations because I don’t know what to feel; it’s all so nebulous to me, I don’t know if a good decision has been made or not. How could I support something I don’t know very much about? Stefen and Chelsea have never been married before and I don’t know what a good match would look like. So how can I recognize something I don’t know? Well I suppose I am not totally in the dark when it comes to what makes a good match. But it’s never worked out for me, so how do I know that Stefen and Chelsea made the right decision?
After Stefen left my room (having told me he was getting married) I sat there with thoughts running through my mind. Then suddenly I laughed uncontrollably and began looking for a piece of paper I had forgotten about. When I found the paper I read through it once. About a year earlier I had written on this pieces of paper a song about a girl that I was sure I would marry. I was so crazy and in love with this girl that I wrote a song about how this girl was going to change my relationship with Stefen. I wrote something about how as humans we are unable to share everything we have with each other. I suppose that is a very obvious truth to most people but Stefen and I shared everything with each other. But as my song explained, God weaves our lives together and we are seemingly not in control, even when it comes to the thing we value above all other things. And the thing I valued more then anything was my friendship with Stefen. But I was willing to move on because I thought that is what God wanted for me and that is what I myself wanted. As life works out though I did not marry the woman that I wrote the song about, she is married to some other man now. And now my friend Stefen is married to Chelsea. But that is besides the point.
Someone asked me once why I became friends with Stefen. I didn’t know what to say to that question. “Do we really choose our friends?”, I wondered. Stefen and I met at L’Abri in Switzerland. We were roommates. We understood each other very clearly. We loved women. We loved talking. We were both searching for love, adventure, meaning, truth, God, etc… But we are also very different. I do not wish to go into those things. But just believe me when I say we are very different. But even though we are very different people we became friends, and as friends we were very close. And so from L’Abri we went together to live with my family in Chattanooga. Life was a struggle there for Stefen and I. We worked and saved up some money then we ended up in Eugene Oregon because I was going to attend Gutenberg College. I had heard about Gutenberg because of someone I met through L’Abri. And after a year of deliberation it seemed like a good place to go. Also Stefen wanted to move out West. So with the money that I got from selling my 65 Mustang I flew out to California and fixed up a car that I had bought from my Aunt a year previously. Then Stefen flew out and we drove together up the Coast to Eugene. Our other option was to go to Chicago where we had some friends but Stefen thought he wasn’t ready for a big city. As things turned out Stefen also began to attend Gutenberg College. We moved on Campus and became part of the Community. Stefen had his struggles and I had my own.
I was sitting in a cafe with Stefen and some of our friends when I asked a question. I do not remember the question but I remember Stefen saying that he presupposes the Bible to be True. It wasn’t what he said that stood out to me (although it is important) but it was how he said it. He seemed to say it with such ease and and confidence, as if anyone could start there. This was very meaningful to me because I was witnessing a change occuring withing Stefen. The man that I first met, although my dear friend, was asked to leave L’Abri for the sake of the community. And now I found myself sitting in a cafe with him telling me and our friends, with confidence, that he presupposes the Bible to be True!
I do not know why I became Stefens friend. Nor do I know if Stefen and Chelsea made the right decision to get married. But I do know that it happened and the things that happen in life have a purpose and a reason.
Stefen and Chelsea were married on August 22nd 2009. But exactly 28 years previously my father and mother were married. My father and mothers marriage does not strike me as a marriage that I long for. I actually want my marriage to look different then theirs. Not because they are evil or wrong but because I do not understand their marriage. For a long time I saw them as invalid models for my life. The reasons that they gave me for marriage, family, church, love, and God didn’t make sense to me. So I held them out at a distance, a far distance. And while this happened I roamed the earth in search of answers. I found Stefen. He and I share a love unlike any I have ever experience. But now that love has changed. He is married. We cannot share all that we have with each other. God has taken us in two very different directions. But I love Stefen and the change I have seen in him has only strengthened my Faith in him. So is it just a coincidence that Stefen and Chelsea now share the same marriage anniversary as my parents? The Faith that I place in Stefen and Chelsea, because of the change I have witnessed in Stefen, can it be placed in my parents? And if it is placed in my parents where else can I place it?
Through my sense of responsibility to my friend Stefen I have realized my responsibility to my family. He has given me a reason to believe in people, in goodness, and in God.
I am sorry that this post is so jumbled but I haven’t worked these ideas out enough to tie them all together properly. Hopefully you as a reader can see the thread that binds them together. My life and hopefully yours, when reflected upon, you can see the twists and turns and changes that have brought you to where you are at present and I for one would not change a thing. The thought of changing something actually frightens me. Who would I be if I never met Stefen? Who would I be if I never went to L’Abri? What would I consider important? What ideas would occupy my mind? What direction would my life be taking? As it is, my life is not perfect but it is understandable to some extent.
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
9For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.