Sex can be both reproductive and miraculous. It can also be safe and fun and wonderful. But never outside of it’s place. And long before sex, a guy needs to understand he never, ever can rightly claim ownership of a functioning vagina or the woman it belongs to. Therefore he cannot ever understand the depth of pain and debilitating shame that comes when a guy claims a vagina for his own like some historical European explorer shoving a flag into the soil of a far flung island and saying, “Mine.”
I can tell you this: being brave enough to recognize fear as it manifests itself in your own temperament and day-to-day living will give you the stepping stones that you need to bravely, confidently, lovingly, even with your internal organs gathering up in your throat, give those fledglings the push they need to fall from the nest and stick their God-given wings out onto the air of adulthood.
Jesus plopped a little duo of parabolic gems about patches and wineskins as response. This is one of those passages in the gospel of Matthew that have most of us scratching our heads and wondering, “What exactly did Jesus mean by that?”
I think, and this is pure supposition, I admit, that when Jesus said these words, he may have given a little wink to Matthew, his host and new disciple. Because Matthew understood exactly what Jesus meant by this:
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wine wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:16-17)
August 2011 He walked through the front door and breathed it in. Home. And I was told he place his small, little-boy hand on the wall and spoke the word, “Home.” I was not there. I was in the hospital, barely passing the hours of night and day by pressing the self-administering morphine button; I was holding the hope of home in my heart, living past the tragedy of the car accident apart from my family. And they were coming home. Daddy on crutches—the weight of so much unknown a harder thing to carry than a useless, broken leg—and our four kids were beginning to step back into normalcy. I was out of ICU, off of the machines that kept me breathing and recently established in the trauma ward. Just the entryway wall, already smudged with so many handprints. But this small caress and a one-syllable word made a picture she’ll carry forever. Home. He’d been staying at his aunt’s house for a week. In the whirlwind surrounding the accident, the youngest of our kids …
Just like that and summer comes to a close.
Arriving on time, autumn slips through the screen door right around Labor Day weekend.
And all those endless sundrenched days of July and August strung like daisies seem to end in a blurry blinding bright spot in my memory.