Skip to main content


They sat eagerly engaged,
this young man and his soon to be
smiling upon me as they surely smiled
for all the world to see.
Full of the giddiness that comes when
idealism and love
interlock hands and gaze.

I asked them where they would like to be
twenty-five years from now.
He said in their home, with children, working,
going about life.
She the same.
And I hope that for them, too:
a stable, nurturing place
no longer driven by idealism,
but the patient, long-suffering love
that can sustain a life together
as husband and wife.

He sat in the chair as though
a stranger to himself,
looking for that one to cling to
who was no more,
for whom his heart ached.

72 years of life together
had impressed itself upon him;
he knew not how to make time pass
without her presence.

I asked him what he remembered
from twenty-five years ago
from fifty, from seventy-two.
And with the tears pooling,
he told me of his bride to be
sitting in his '36 Ford,
and about dressing her up last Saturday
for the Lawrence Welk show,
to sit beside her on the couch
and to feel the great assurance of intimate knowledge.

Old man can you tell these novice two
what great love you have known?

Can you speak into the eager hearts
the knowledge of how
thrilling romance must give way
to consistent selflessness?

Can you tell them that this road
called marriage
can twist and bend and mend the two into one,
like roots grown together deep in the ground?

Can you let them know that
a life together is nothing we shape to our own
ideals or expectations,
but that it shapes us beyond our tiny selves?

Can you tell them that their love affair
will break their hearts when the bond is broken
by death?

Of course you cannot,
though you might try.

In fidelity, while there might be
many examples and mentors,
there is no instruction but
moment upon moment of kindness and gentleness,
day upon day of failure and forgiveness,
and year after year of faithful endurance.

It will take us where we dare not go,
humbled, broken, grateful and longing.


Popular posts from this blog

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…

Acts 6:1-6 - Questions for reflection & prayer

As the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian community, new life emerges and new members are added.  This is a beautiful thing, and it is extremely important to point out that this is God's doing.  God is initiating diversity within the Christian community.  However, this also creates new tensions and new challenges.

Acts 6:1-6 gives us our first glimpse of a tension that will extend all the way to chapter 15, until the leaders of the early Church come up with a way to address the growing differences within the Christian family.  Some feel that they are being left out and that others are getting preferential treatment.  The Hellenized Christians feel they are getting the short end of the stick.

All of this is extremely relevant to thoughts and feelings occurring in our own day and age.  Across the spectrum, a majority of Americans feel like they face some form of discrimination.  But, it also points to an ongoing challenge we all face from time to time, the challenges that arise when…

Life in Greencastle: That Greatest Architect

God's peace to all of you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I hope you are enjoying the warm sunshine.  Perhaps you are even still enjoying one last sunset at the beach.
We stayed fairly close to home this Spring Break, taking two short trips, including one to Turkey Run State Park and the other to Columbus, Indiana.  Anna and I had been longing to go to Columbus for quite some time.  Back in the day, we became friends with Emily and Manish Desai in our small apartment complex in Pasadena, both of whom had recently graduated with degrees in architecture from Cal Poly.  Manish would go on to earn his license in architecture and has designed a number of really beautiful spaces, including private residences but also a church out in the desert for a Native American tribe.  Anna and I have always appreciated Manish and Emily's aesthetic, which is why we knew to take note when they started telling us about Columbus, Indaina a number of years ago.  They didn't know much abo…