The sliced fish swirls around on a plastic river, glowing under track lights and the choices seem unending and I watch him as I sip on my lemon water.
His hand, large and pale, reaches then draws back, then reaches. A finger touches a pink plate and then withdraws again, and I sigh and roll my eyes, because picking a sushi roll should not be so intimidating.
I’ve already eaten most of my white-rice-wrapped order before he picks a crab roll and, fingers crossed, takes a bite.
Sandwiched between a High School Reunion and an Anniversary, picking my sushi seems like the least of my worries. I play it safe, ordering the same exact thing every single time.
If you don’t wear sunblock, or forget to use your turn signal, or open your mouth without thinking, or call a friend instead of vacuuming, or eat at Taco Bell or order the wrong sushi…these things can matter. These things make up a life, and food poisoning, and skin cancer, and friendships, and broken friendships, and comfort.
We munch on spicy tuna together and I think about my choices over the years, big and small, and wonder if there’s regret in heaven, you know, since life doesn’t allow do-overs, and really everything we do matters?
There can’t be.
We’ve been married for eight years now and he’s always brought me roses.
I have gotten roses in the dark, and when things are ugly, and I have gotten roses when I don’t need them. He has brought me roses when I make mistakes and when he just wants to see me smile…I look back and see a blur of mistakes and missteps, and a whole lot of red petals.
There are always roses.
So, maybe our choices don’t ruin us, if we are loved.
We can get food poisoning, waste money on gross sushi, and say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and overdraw our checking account, and drink too much or eat too little, or shrink a favorite sweater, and we are still loved.
I try to make perfect decisions, and be perfect, and make safe choices, and I still fall on my face regularly.
There are still roses.
God loves us like a husband, we’re covered in grace.
I look back at my life, the good the bad and the dumb, and I see roses; His blood, covering every mistake and misstep and bad choice. And I know when I am done with this life, I will look at my messy, sinful life, and we will celebrate with no regrets. Love is magical like that.
“Since even the just man, the holiest man, falls as often as seven times a day, indeed, seventy times seven, what are you to do in these slips and falls? If you fall, and you cannot avoid it, do not lie still, do not sleep there where you have fallen. It would be a shame to sleep, therefore rise again. And how are you to rise? By lifting your soul and running to the fountain of grace and mercy, by repairing to Christ Jesus, to obtain mercy for your soul, and to ask Him to send from Himself the needed peace to put your conscience to rest, and to restore your soul to health.”