Part Two: Oil and Water
(To read Part One, click here)
Now, about that woman I was “destined to marry”…
I was leading the performing artists group at a large church in Southern California. There was a creative intellectual in the group who was very attractive and ridiculously easy to talk to. We blended effortlessly, and I’d been thinking she might just be my soulmate.
Then one night a beautiful young woman showed up. After the meeting, a gaggle of us went out to celebrate a birthday. I hitched a ride with the pretty newbie, Trudy. At the restaurant, I kept looking back and forth between her and my would-be soulmate. “No!” I resolved, “Don’t go there. Stick with your soulmate!” Trudy drove me home afterward. I leaned in to hug her goodnight. Mistaking the direction of my head, she turn her face toward mine.
And our lips met in the middle.
I’ve written elsewhere about our love and our differences. Let me just repeat that we were wildly different from one another, this pretty newbie and I. We were oil and water. We dated off-and-on for two years. Each time we broke up, I’d attempt to ignite a flame with someone who was more like me, more, you know, soulmateish. But then, somehow, Trudy and I would end up back in our oil and water relationship.
Powerful symbols, water and oil. Water is the biblical symbol of life, of God’s provision. Oil is the symbol of calling and purpose (which is why it’s used for spiritual anointing). Two things we can’t live without: Life and Purpose. Can they be mixed? Yes. But only with constant stirring. Which is why I began Part One by saying that all blessings are mixed. Mixed blessings are God’s specialty.
Trudy and I met on January 13th, 34 years ago, and marriage to her has been the greatest blessing of my life. But make no mistake—it has also been a mixed blessing. My would-be-could-be-soulmates were nothing like her. They were easy to mix with because they were either very much like me, or (I’m embarrassed to admit) very impressed with me.
Trudy is neither. She challenges me. Constantly. Makes me grow. Constantly. Makes me better.
And I do the same for her.
Mixed? Oh, yes. As in “in need of constant stirring.” The blending together of Life and Purpose.
So, this is my belated but whole-hearted thank you to God for being a God of Mixed Blessings.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.