The Second Gaze – Perfection
Whenever I head very early (like pre-sunrise or just-at-sunrise) to one neighborhood park in particular, I often encounter one couple always there right about the same time. It is an older couple with the woman in a wheelchair and the man pushing her. No matter the season or whether we are in a pandemic, she is usually covered with a blanket and wearing a surgical/protective mask. I don’t know anything more about them other than what I witness as I see them.
The other morning, Scout and I went on a walk after we had had a light dusting of snow overnight. As we got to the park, I noticed these parallel lines along the path and, for a while, I was wondering what they were from. They were too close together for it to be one of the ATVs the park rangers use and they were too parallel and too close for people riding bikes. I could have just had that first gaze and let it go but I kept wondering…And then I realized what it was – it had to have been that couple who had been out and had already headed home by the time we arrived.
It was deeply moving to me to think of this couple going out so early on such a cold, snowy morning. I reflected on the love that would lead them to be out there that morning and every other morning – their love for each other and commitment to each other and their love for that place and nature. I am sure they would not agree that their love is perfect but, at least in what I have seen, this is a perfect living out of wedding vows – to have and to hold, in sickness and in health…I told my wife when I got home that I would do the same for her if we find ourselves in that place decades down the road…
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7