Fifty Shades of Hope: A letter to my husband

Dear you

I was chopping tomatoes when Cameron said matter-of-fact:

‘Mommy, I’ve seen you and Dad having one of your special cuddles.’

I gave a calm non-committal oh… Feigned intense fascination with rearranging the lettuce…

And later you and I conferred in whispered alarm and determined it couldn’t possibly have been that kind of special cuddle, could it?

But it made me think. Maybe our boys should see us snogging in the kitchen more often, even if it grosses them out. And even though you come home grey-faced after long days and I keep finding grey hairs in the mirror, maybe we need to paint for them the bright colours of marriage because the world doesn’t need any more grey. There are too many grey lives botched and blotched by sin, suffering and complacency. Marriages choking lonely and frustrated and sliding insidious into grey areas in a desperate attempt to find hope.

I want our boys to see that hope is the colour of laughter splashed over breakfast tantrums and the crazy rush and mess of life. Hope is the colour of supper on the stove and the gate opening to say you’re home. It’s the colour of tea and fudge – the sacred caramel quiet of you-and-me that closes the door on anything else that clamours for first place. Hope is the colour of late night prayer and past-present-future wonderings and musings, worries and misgivings, that keep on driving us back to God whose hope palette never runs dry.

Hope is the colour of scrolling through news and standing on the brink of the future’s gut-twisting unknown and knowing I don’t stand there alone. It’s the colour of my hand finding yours when we’re singing in church to magnify again God’s great Name above the hopeless state of the nation and the worse state of the world so that we can hear again the calling that clears our vision.

I hear the colour of hope in your voice when you scold the boys for disrespecting their mom. It’s tattooed on your arms when you hold Scott tight to stem his tears. And when Cam comes with big questions to which we have ridiculously insufficient answers because we’ll never explain away his journey or understand exactly how the world comes at him – then hope is the colour of your eyes holding mine soft and sad, steady and strong, because I know you’d rather face the questions and the anger with me than with anyone else.

Your old-school choices are hope-stained because we’re one flesh and the integrity of your soul colours mine. Hope is all the shades of knowing that, for better or worse, we’ll keep finding each other in velvet nights at the end of the rest of all our days. Your all-of-me, John Legend kind of love – the kind that says I’m enough – drenches and dyes me in techni-coloured hope. So I don’t need grey pages of mommy porn or big-screen turn-ons to keep the love bright and burning. Because by God’s grace I have you. And I have hope.

Love,

Me

. . .

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