Tuesday, June 6, 2017
June 6, 2017 Forty seven years ago, Linda and I penned the first lines of a romance that we've been writing day by day ever since. The plot was simple: no matter what, we are in it for the long haul...together. Formally, this translates to, "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death." These weren't just words we said; they were the commitment we made, and kept. The story has had drama, laughter, and sorrow, with the constant thread of faithfulness to God and to each other. The earliest chapters had but two main protagonists along with a host of supporting characters, but as the story progresses, three others are introduced, one by one. Page after page the plot advances, sometimes quickly, sometimes plodding. Line by line, characters were introduced, some who would later fade from the story; others who would remain, helping to carry its weight, weaving its thread through subplots and asides. Our story has scenes all over the world, but always comes back to the center that is our home, our faith, our determination, and ultimately, our love. It's not been constant sweetness and light. Love is like that. Our premarital counseling was pretty minimal, but the one thing I remember is pastor Wayne Ostrander telling us that "love is not running hand in hand through sunlit fields of daisies; love is getting up at three in the morning to change a dirty diaper." He was right. Our commitment to each other has been tested, stretched, and attacked; the blood, sweat, and tears have been real, but they have been worth every drop. We haven't yet read the last page; of course, we would like it to be a "happily ever after" ending, but there are no guarantees. Sooner or later, the last lines of the wedding prayer I have prayed over couples hundreds of times will come true for us: "until at last one lays the other into the loving arms of God." That page hasn't yet been written. One thing we know by faith alone: we will continue writing this story with increasing gratitude for the life God has given us together until one of us pens the last line, God willing, many years from now.