Thinking about what I’d write for the Marriage Project, I had this terrible urge to argue. And then it drained away, and I got this instead:
I watched a barn raising when I was a kid, and envied all of them. Why wouldn’t you help your neighbors? You’ll need them, in your turn, and whatever you’re building will go more quickly if you have help. Strangers came to our wedding. Old friends. Chosen family. My coworkers. Christians and pagans. Jews and atheists. Buddhists. The various undecided. My son and step-son. My mother-in-law. And a month later my father told me I’d had a party, not a wedding, as though he knew anything about it. He hadn’t come to the barn raising. He didn’t want to celebrate with us. That’s a sad and heavy thing. Not, I’m sorry to say, as unusual as it should be.
It’s just love, man. What are you so afraid of?
I want your god to love you. To treat you with tenderness. I want your family to do the same. I want you to be built up rather than torn down. I wish that for you. What do you wish for me? Our joy is mightier when we share it with one another. You know this is true. You’ve felt it, the glow of it, against your face, inside your chest. Love one another. Raise a barn with your neighbors. Celebrate love because it matters. In the end we’ll be judged by it. We’ll be judged by our love.