“Living on Love is not setting up one's tent at the top of Tabor, It’s climbing Calvary with Jesus. “ - Saint Therese of Lisieux
This month I had the honor of capturing and celebrating 30 years of love between my parents on the streets of Paris, in front of the Eiffel tower. As I sit here in my room writing this post - and finishing up this set of images - my eyes can’t help but well up. In this relationally confused world, these two are a spectacle of glory - not by perfection, or an upright moral compass, but because of Christ. College has been one of the most spiritually challenging environments for me to be in - consistently facing questions in regard to my faith and values, thrown into conversations with people from radically different cultures and background - many who are very angry with Christianity - and these two have been such a consistent light in the midst of that darkness.
They are not parents that have sheltered, preserved, or attempted to shield me from difficulties - rather they have led me with the simplicity of their lives by exhibiting faith, wisdom, truth, and honesty. My Father has challenged me to think critically. My Mother has challenged me to be brave and bold. It’s in this beautiful rendezvous that they reflect - and have taught me - to seek truth but also act on that truth, to wrestle and to be uncomfortable all while learning to rest in a peace that truly surpasses all understanding. To be fearless of nothing but the Lord, while binding humility to every essences of my being. To be meek, listen, and seek to understand others, but never forsake absolute truth in the process.
I have loved the beginnings of my study of the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) because I see her heritage in my parents. She was known for doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
My parents have done very ordinary things in a very extraordinary way. It's a stunning thing to behold.
Just like I long for people to know the sweetness of a relationship with Christ beyond what they understand at face value - I long for people to know the sweet, authentic, generous, genuine, joyful, respectful, forgiving- yet ordinary- life of my mother and father.
We are the sum of those we let pour into our lives; and we must be cautious as to whom we allow to do so. I understand with great pain and sorrow that the parents that I have been given are far and few, but I am honored that they are mine and that I get to share their exemplary lives with those I come into contact with. I love that I get to say with such excitement that it is has been nothing short of a joy to honor the authority that the Lord has given them over my life. I am endlessly thankful for the example they have set before my eyes.
30 years in Paris, France - not just “still married” but madly in love, not just “going through the motions” but climbing Calvary - together.
Parents, and soon to be parents - love your spouse radically. Apart from sharing the saving grace of Christ, it's the next best gift you can give your children.