Humor as the Foundation of a Relationship
My husband has a penchant for making me laugh. He has a unique blend of wit and sarcasm that adds zesty seasonings to the steak of his stories. When I met my husband in the fall of 1995, we began a quiet friendship built on humor.
Our first real date was at a comedy club, although you could hardly call it a date since we didn’t talk to each other. We laughed the whole time! We were both nervous puppies who had just been born and were actively looking for our mothers. We did not know what to say to each other, although we managed to find plenty to stare at in our sodas.
In only six short months, our friendship grew in leaps and bounds. Things got serious. Quickly. Really, how well do you know a person in six months that you can say with a straight face that you want to marry him or her?
And yet, that is what happened with us. We got engaged after only six months of dating. My husband said I was cute, but I was not particularly funny, as I was the one who did most of the laughing. I was pretty studious back then, a lot like I am now, always reading and researching, with my head buried in my work.
Faith in the Unknown, Through Love
My husband didn’t know that much about me or my life or my upbringing, except the bits and pieces that I slowly revealed to him. My husband also knew that I wanted to study and shop a lot. That struck him as a bit odd, but it was okay, because that is who I was at the time. My husband accepted me and my quirks back then, and even more so today.
Even though my husband had known me for only a short time, he took a huge leap of faith by proposing marriage, confident in his thinking that our wedded union would outlast any uncertainties of character or personality. I gleefully accepted. The type of faith my husband used to lasso me into his heart is more commonly known as love. Love is not a mathematical equation or a scientific analysis that is derived from processing exact data. It is the fortress built around the unknown.
Prior to getting engaged, I had had these preconceived ideas about wanting to date someone for years and years, hoping to know that person intimately before jumping into marriage, like test driving a car for 1,000 miles before plunking down a deposit and making the commitment to purchase. Once my husband placed an engagement ring on my hand, however, real life crumpled up those ideas and tossed them, like the drafts on the cutting room floor at Pixar Animation Studios. Lots of great ideas, but only one reality.
I also thought about the strong, fixed preconceived notions of what I was or was not supposed to be doing in my life, based on my Catholic upbringing and dedicated studies and traditions with the Catholic church. For most of my life, I had not considered the concept of faith as an integral part of my life, probably because I had been so busy learning about religion.
After graduating from law school and subsequently getting married, new ideas came into my head. For the first time, I grappled with the reality of how the academic study of faith and religion was unrealistic, with its set of closed universes and finite possibilities. The true education was in life itself.
I began to realize how hard it was to learn about faith from a textbook because faith involves feelings of self-awareness and personal connections with the God who created us. It’s hard to feel, let alone express sentiments of faith, through case studies or historical examples. Faith is one of those things that we have to live to experience, in order to feel a true connection.
Take the Leap into the Unknown
In the same way that my husband used faith in making the decision to marry me despite knowing very little about me, so, too, should we have faith in the unknown. God is the unknown. He exists, but because he has no physical presence, that makes it hard for people to believe in something they can’t see or touch.
My husband could not see or touch a future with me. He relied on faith to believe, without concrete proof ahead of time, that spending his life with me would be pure joy. And boy, was he right! Ha ha!
All kidding aside, this is one example of using love as a form of faith to believe in things that are unknown to us. If we love the trees and the fragrance of the flowers and the warmth of our pets and wild animals, chances are pretty good that we love God, too. God is in nature all around us. It is God who makes the clouds dance and the wind sing. It is God who makes our mountains of problems shrink down into anthills. That is the power of faith.
If we can take that leap of faith in the unknown, just as my husband did, we are bound to discover the beauty that surrounds us. Have you ever put your faith in the unknown and experienced God’s goodness through that faith?