"Where are you going?" I say to her as she gets up from a dinner table and starts to leave people I am entertaining.
"To anyplace," she softly says to me, "where I don't have to hear this story for the ninety-seventh time.
This moment reveals the ultimate challenge for a woman in a marriage: to accept it for the re-run it is but keep herself from canceling the show.
I read this quote and immediately thought about how often I hear people complain that they hear the same things over and over again at church. I guess my only response is that I look for newness on my own; I look for familiarity and insight when I'm with others. There is a difference between newness and insight, and it's too easy to confuse the two.
At this point in my marriage, I don't get much newness from my wife - and she doesn't get much newness from me. I do get lots and lots of insight from her - probably more than she gets from me.
That's true, probably, about those with whom I attend church. They don't get much newness from me, but I hope they get some insight - and I am positive I get more insight from their collective whole than they get from singular me.
I know my marriage and my church consist mostly of re-runs at this point in my life, and I do want to get up sometimes and avoid hearing that particular story for the 97th time, but I love the show and don't want to cancel it. I guess church for me is a lot like M*A*S*H *- a great show I like watching no matter how many times I've seen it before. It makes me laugh; it makes me cry; it makes me shake my head; it makes me nod my head; it makes me cringe; it makes my soul expand. I love it for its complexity - especially for the times I hear something for the 98th time and realize I never really understood it until then.