Monday, January 23, 2012

Kaleidoscopes and Marriage

When I was a little girl I loved kaleidoscopes. The simple yet intricate device was given to me around the age of 7 and I recall many hours of solitude adjusting the tube and watching the scattered colors form into unique and beautiful designs. Kaleidoscopes operate on the principle of multiple reflections, where several mirrors are attached together. As the tube is rotated, the tumbling of the colored objects presents the viewer with varying colors and patterns. Any arbitrary pattern of objects shows up as a beautiful symmetrical pattern created by the reflections in the mirrors.

As I begin to step into this new year I am filled with gratitude that my husband and I traversed a particularly challenging year in our marriage that made us stronger, wiser, and more committed than ever before. Around 4 am this morning, I thought of marriage as a kaleidoscope. Two people joined together in harmony and unity sounds so good, but the truth of the matter is the two people are kind of smashed together with their pieces continually adjusting to form a beautiful picture. Each year, each life event, each challenge twists the rolls of our marital kaleidoscope into a recognizable pattern. Sometimes I can remember looking into the kaleidoscope while it was being turned right before the pattern formed and the pieces seemed to be in complete disarray: that is how the bumps in the road appear in marriage.

I think marriage is like a kaleidoscope because of the mirrors reflecting off of each other to form a masterpiece inside the kaleidoscope, likewise marriage causes each person to reflect the other to bring out the best in them. We obviously connect with people that we are compatible with on many levels, but our mates are often healthiest where we are weak and our union with them brings us wholeness. In those moments of "healing" it can be that our mates reflect the worst in us to help us develop into the best that we can be. I recently read an article that says we instinctively find the mate that helps us finish the "work" from our childhoods; that we are drawn to the person who is exactly what we need to slay the demons of our past. Sadly, many couples divorce right in those moments when they are being pushed by their mates because the pain is so great, they don't know how to hold on while the kaleidoscope is twisting. But the beauty of building a healthy, unbreakable marriage is the lifetime of unparalleled experiences shared by two people who are better off together than they ever would have been apart. Here's to all of the married folks I know particularly the "Get Married Stay Married Crew" of GCC.

8 The Lord God said, " It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.