Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Joint Heirs Together in the Grace of Life

“Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."
- Genesis 2:18

“…man still needs to be tamed.”
- George Gilder, Men and Marriage, p. 47

“As I considered taking Kate as my wife, I entreated our Lord God earnestly to help me.”
- Martin Luther, cited in Katherine von Bora: A Reformation Life, Rudloph K. Markwald and Marilynn Morris Markwald, p. 70

“Lost in this moment with you, I am completely consumed.”
- Big and Rich, Lost in This Moment

November is a month full of significance for me. It’s the month we celebrate Thanksgiving and it’s my daughter Esther’s, and my grandson Gideon’s birth month. But, truth be known, when I think of the memory of most significance my mind takes me back to November 27th, 1976. That was the day (Thanksgiving weekend) when a very beautiful and very young woman pledged herself to me. This month we’ll celebrate 31 years of marriage. I remember a frequent conversation when we were younger that always started by a matter-of-fact assertion, “We will grow old together.” Thankfully, we’ve gone a ways in that process. Thirty-one years together is an indication of God’s irrefutable kindness to someone like me who deserves nothing but aloneness and alienation. November is a reminder of grace.

This November another celebration is in order. In November of 2002, and in the weakness of post-operative surgery, Judy began what the oncologist would call 21st century barbarism. This month is her 5-year marker. Cancer surgery and chemo-therapy changed the course of our lives, and yet time would prove this to be a severe mercy. Behind a seemingly providential frown there was surely a kindly smile. Marriage had become a means of grace and now suffering was becoming a means of grace as well. In the mystery of covenantal union we had become joint heirs together in the grace of life. Richer and poorer, sickness and health, grace and mercy, were all working together to reflect something much more significant. Even after 31 years we are still a faint shadow of the reality (the mystery of Christ and His church), but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Judy, thank you for saying, “I do.” You are an incomparable gift of grace to me. Here’s to growing old together. I love you more than ever.


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