It is so often taken for granted. It is a hello, a goodbye, a habit. And we forget that within this gesture is a piece of our heart. Within this gift is the gift of ourselves–a gift that longs to be fully received, a gift that longs to be given away. It is a gift that waits to be fully unwrapped. It is a gesture of anticipation, and a promise of things to come. This is our Advent, our Lent, our foreshadowing of a love that cannot be dimmed by the walls of a cave or the door of a tomb.
We are a people of preparation. Our liturgical year requires it. Even our temporal needs require it. What is a family meal, a summer vacation, or a romantic evening at home without the Purgatory of preparation? This preparation is work; it is stressful; it requires thought and attention to detail. But amidst the challenges, the frustrations, and the worry are bursts of joyful anticipation of what is yet to come–hints of the future that give us hope and feed our perseverance.
Just as the liturgical seasons come and go, and just as winter eventually melts into spring, so, too, do the seasons of marriage ebb and flow. The natural rhythms of the body combined with the natural rhythms of life have gifted us with times when, even after marriage, a simple kiss means everything. It means, “I still love you even though we’re abstaining.” “I can’t wait to be fully with you again.” or even, “This is difficult, and I need you to be strong for me.”
A kiss isn’t casual. It isn’t an insignificant gesture meant to be thrown away carelessly. It is a glimmer of the magnificent holiness of two becoming one. It is a reflection of the transformation that occurs during a time of preparation–a time to weed out our hearts and scrub the spots from our souls. A time when our sins often rear their ugly heads, but also a time when we have the blessing of a supportive spouse to help us tame them.
And then, when our time of preparation is over, we are purified for one another. We are more capable of allowing God in–of making Him the center of our relationship.
My husband said to me this morning, “You’re worth waiting for.” After all of these years and all of these kids, he still thinks I’m worth waiting for! But perhaps it isn’t just me he means. Maybe it is the purified me, the small step closer to holiness me, the doing my best to follow God’s will me. Because all of that is, indeed, worth waiting for, married or not. And all of that is what’s in a kiss.