Yes, it has finally happened. I fell in love and don’t think I can ever come back to the US. Ah, nothing like love to sweep you off your feet, to make you giddy. And here is the shocker–I did not fall in love with a man!
I know, I know, after all that ex-gay and ex-ex-gay stuff, it is crazy. But we can’t control love. It happens in the strangest ways, in the strangest places. And yes, I know about long distance relationships, the challenges, particularly with cross-cultural stuff.
And this love is, well, complicated, because my new love is not, well, human. You see I have fallen in love with Tartex, the organic vegetarian yeast paste, (Available in Mushroom, Green Olive, GarlicHerb Meadow, Shiitake and Original) popular among vegetarians in Sweden and Germany.
And now, Sweden’s Next Top Tartex Model!!!
For all my silliness, I actually am feeling a little sad these past few days. It is lovely here and the people are super, but I miss home and increasingly feel the loss of my mother. Tartex on bread (and lentils and bananas and dark chocolate) just doesn’t fill the void.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what good came of my ex-gay experiences, especially my time in Love in Action. (No doubt more harm came than good, but still some good came).
One thing I learned during that time as I deeply felt the loss of my wife, who was also my best friend, was how to sit in pain without driving it away or covering it over.
I remember a moment when I thought I was going to die of heartache and I begged Jesus to take away the pain. Hit me with that Holy Ghost Heroin!
Suddenly words formed in my head to the effect, “I will not take away the pain, I cannot, it is real, but I will sit in it with you.” (Inspired in part by the scriptures that the suffering servant is a man of sorrows acquainted with grief and that he can fellowship with us in our own sufferings)
So for weeks and months I let the pain just be. At the oddest times I burst into tears and wept uncontrolably (at the end of Mr. Holland’s Opus and listening to Michael W. Smith???!). But I just let the pain be, often without words, just sitting with the ache and with an image of Jesus, gentle, compassionate, patient, sitting and waiting by my side. And really what more can we want from a friend?