Next month is our 25th anniversary. I’m pretty excited about it.
We are going to a hotel in Newport that caters to readers. It’s called the Sylvia Beach Inn (named after the writer, not a beach), Each room is dedicated to an author and is decorated in a style reflecting that author’s life, and has many of their books. There are rooms dedicated to Mark Twain, Hemmingway, Melville, Poe (creepy!), Seuss (children’s room of course), Stevenson, and many more (check out the site!).
It isn’t often we get away for a couple of days alone. But a quarter of a century together deserves a special recognition.
I met her on leap year day, 1980. We married about a year and a half later.
The moment we met our eyes locked. We stood looking at each other, feeling a connection, something special. It made her boyfriend, who had brought her over to my house, more than a little nervous.
I offered to teach her the game of chess. The next morning I noticed her passing by my house (it was only her fourth time sauntering by) and invited her in.
What a heady emotion: falling in love. It is an all-consuming madness that robs one of sleep and rational thought.
Now 25 years have passed since that afternoon we exchanged our vows in my dad’s backyard and I love her more than ever. We think alike, we communicate better (not perfectly, but better).
We have recently begun answer questions in conversations with the exact same words at the same time. It is a little freaky.
She worries about the wrinkles, a natural thing for a woman I suppose. But I find her more beautiful than ever before.
She is my partner. She is my mate.
When I first became a Christian I was infatuated with the movement of The Spirit in my life. It was the time known as the Jesus Movement, and we were derogatorily referred to as Jesus Freaks. But it was all joy to me.
I met each week with some other teens in an old garage. We sang songs, read scripture, gathered pamphlets, and went out witnessing together.
That passion faded a little as I experimented in eastern philosophies, and came down with a sever case of wanderlust.
But the love of my Lord never left.
Strange. It seems that in returning to faithfully following of the paths of the Shepherd, I have had many sorrows. But He has remained true to me in ways I cannot easily explain to my ever so rational friends, the ones who love science so much.
None the less, I find myself loving my Lord in ways that are new to me.
Lately I have found my passion for God increasing to a point where I truly do not care what others may think.
A few weeks ago there was a concert in the central park of our town where I worshipped openly, not caring who might see me. This goes against the grain for someone who is fairly well known in this community of 12,000 people. I have taught thousands of children in the local middle school. But I didn’t care. This is who I am.
A couple of weeks ago we had a special worship service at church and again I felt freedom to worship, to be as open in my devotion to God as I am in revealing who I am in this little online journal.
And then this morning. I went to the church unsure what would take place. Our pastor, my friend, is walking under African skies as he and another friend take medicine to a people group our church sponsors in Guinea. I always go early to pray with and for those who participate in our Sunday services... and this morning I felt so close to what was going on. I didn’t have any real part in the service. I led no prayers, shared no announcements, made no videos. But the spirit moved within me.
And I found myself, worshipping with eyes closed as usual, so passionate about my Lord that I began to dance.
Isn’t that an amazing image?! A fifty year old, 225 pound man dancing and bowing, his mind singularly focused on the divine. The world fell away.
He is my creator. My master.
I am a long ways from 20 years old.
That is a very good thing.