Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment
Today is April 1 — April Fool’s Day! Do you have any little tricks up your sleeve?
Somehow I have a hard time imagining Mother Teresa putting plastic wrap over her Sister’s toilet seat or green Jell-O powder in the showerhead. I can’t picture her putting salt in the sugar bowl, or covering a sponge with chocolate frosting to “surprise” her family. On the other hand, we know she was a joyful person . . . and fun is an indispensable part of the human experience. So don’t be afraid to let loose a little!
Feel better? Good. While Lent is a penitential season, the Christian life is an ongoing cycle of feasting and fasting, of letting loose and offering up. And so, we imitate most perfectly the love of God when the sacrifices we make willingly and joyfully, not reluctantly or resentfully. Even when the other person isn’t the least bit grateful, the little rat. Perhaps especially when he doesn’t even notice.
Does this sound unrealistic, even inhuman? Isn’t it only natural to want to be appreciated and thanked for the things we do? What about those times when your spouse sidles up to you after a L-O-N-G day of wrangling children, chores, and chow, and hints that he’s up for an extra helping of dessert? How does love respond?
Yes, you could ask HIM to make the sacrifice. There are two of you in the marriage, and you both need to make sacrifices for each other. Yes, you need your rest. Yes, his pitching in more would help the “frisk” level go up, perhaps.
Then again, you’re the one who signed up for the challenge, to “abandon yourself to love.” So . . . what about tonight? (If for some reason sex is off the table, what other little sacrificial gesture could you make to let him know how much you love him?)
Just be sure he knows it’s not an “April Fools.”