Two long, sturdy strips of cloth hung from a fixed point above the stage. A broad-shouldered man and a lithe woman climbed these pieces of cloth with creative tricks and soon they were both high in the air while the polished wood floor of the stage was dangerously far below. Already, we were impressed, they did a few tricks and arranged themselves, and then…
They swung gracefully out over our heads, the long strands of cloth trailing. They flew, his larger frame behind hers, she leaning against him. They walked in the invisible air, side by side, stepping lightly and in synchronization, delicately pointing their toes. He took her in his arms, crossed her quickly over his body and in various dramatic skater’s poses, they continued to fly around and around above our heads. He let her go and caught her with his feet as our hearts jumped into our mouths.
I was struck with the thought, “I want to get married.”
To me, it was a beautiful picture of marriage, one that I wanted to imitate.
It was beautiful, it was romantic. Yet, it was so dangerous. If he dropped her, if she fell…the results were unthinkable.
If they fell, they would likely be killed, and if not, then grievously injured. Yet not only they were in danger, but those watching. The audience too could be injured: physically if they fell onto the audience, emotionally if they fell on the stage. Just like a failed marriage, not only would it hurt the couple, but all those near too. And think of the emotional guilt he would feel for having dropped his partner.
To fly like this required strength and trust. Both must possess these qualities, but the man especially the strength as he bore her weight and his own, and she the trust as he at times lifted or caught her as they swung through the air, almost touching the ceiling.
In Ephesians 5:22-27, we learn, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless,” (Ephesians 5:22-27). The wife is to submit to her husband. If I’m to submit to someone, I want a man I can trust with my life, just as this woman trusted him to catch her. The husband is to help his wife heavenward, just as the male acrobat lifted her, and helped her stay high on the cloths.
~August 2014. Beijing, China.