Age 31 arrived and with it, the cold fingers of early winter tightened their slow, numbing grip on the last week of October in Portland, Oregon. Happy Birthday, but not really. Winter is colder when you’re alone and don’t want to be.
“It is not good for a man to be alone.”
Yeah, God, I know. So, where is she, because I’ve searched for her in every room, at every church service, through every crowd, down every busy street?
I’m not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan but with 32 staring me in the face, I felt the vibe of his song, Dancing in the Dark, down in my bones.
Even so, I still believed that she was out there, somewhere. I just couldn’t find her. So, I prayed. A lot. And, the words of Jesus did equal time in my brain with those other screaming voices.
“ . . . not my will but yours be done.”
Plenty of bad, acrimonious marriages were around. Don’t want one of those. Better to wait . . . for God’s timing . . . God, can you hurry this thing along cause I’m going crazy over here? You didn’t make me like the apostle Paul.
Then it happened. I walked into the room and a pair of hazel-green eyes danced – not provocatively – just danced with life and joy and energy and . . .
It’s 10pm on a Friday night. There she is, my beautiful Bride, walking down the hall with a basket full of dirty clothes – her hands tired from 21 years of vacuuming and laundry; her body, a little tired from birthing and trying to keep up with eight kids 7 – 20; her weary mind, ready for the welcome of her pillow.
She looks up at me, and smiles.
So, what has changed in 21 years? Everything . . . and nothing. Those eyes, they’re still dancing because in becoming all those things to so many people, she never stopped being the woman I married on that day at the Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon.
She never stopped wanting to be held.
She never stopped enjoying a walk holding hands.
She never stopped desiring to be desired.
She never stopped longing for the truth contained in a sincere kiss.
Why? Because, like your wife – like every wife, she’s always a woman.
Life is short. Love her well.