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david and lisa hayward

I wrote this for the nakedpastor but I wanted to share it with all of you. I’m a little quiet online this weekend. Here’s my explanation: Lisa and I are celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary this weekend. We are very proud of our achievement. It has been years of delight and hard work. One does not exist without the other.

I have learned a great lesson, a spiritual one, from our relationship. Each of us has gone through incredible individual journeys. We have taken our turns being believers, agnostics and atheists. Rarely at the same time. Through it all we have loved each other. But it does take hard work. The hard work is to not really work. Instead, it is to not try to change or manipulate the other, to give the other space, to trust that they are the best captains of their own lives, to believe in them through thick and thin, and to appreciate who they are no matter what they are going through. Our love for each other encompasses everything about the other, even the stuff we can’t see and aren’t even aware of yet.

Along came our three children. They added to this challenge. The same principle applied. Love and hard work. Or loving hard work. Or hard-working love.

Sure, we have failed here and there. Miserably! But those are the polaroids. However, the movie’s theme is the two of us have become who we are on our own but in the gracious and loving embrace of the other. The same with the five of us.

When I was the pastor of a local church I applied the same principle and I love how it worked. When it worked.

This is why I am absolutely convinced that The Lasting Supper can work. I totally believe, because I’ve experienced it, that believers, agnostics and atheists and people of other faiths or religions or philosophies can form a healthy and dynamic collective. I believe such a community is like a fine cabernet sauvignon wine: the main flavor is the particular grape, but then it has notes of oak, leather, licorice and pepper. So is a functional community: the main flavor is love, but then it has notes of believer, atheist, agnostic and whatever else you contribute to it.

What a great weekend! I hope you have one too!