Thursday, May 8th, 1976 was a big day. It was my 23rd birthday and the day my bride came walking down the aisle…40 years ago. I have to stop and reflect on why I made a good choice.
Here are the reasons that came to my mind this week:
1 - She attracts me
- My mouth flew open when she came down the aisle with her Dad that day. Literally, it flew open, because I was singing to her! “Lady in white, come take your flight, and meet the one you love…”
- She is perfect for me: tall, thin, beautiful blue eyes, and gorgeous hair. She has kept herself just that beautiful, even after six babies and a whole lot of laundry and cooking. She STILL attracts me more than any woman in the whole world.
2 - She supports me
- I took her to Africa two weeks after we were married. She stayed at my side when a six-week ORU mission trip turned into a two-year missions drama. She almost died with malaria eight weeks after we arrived in Ghana…and never asked to go home.
- She keeps the “home fires burning” while the “reverend” is “burning up the road.” My clothes, pantry, children, and finances stayed in great order so I stayed undistracted. Thank you, honey, we will share the identical reward.
3 - She stimulates me
- Melanie is a theological genius. She added to her complicated parenting some theology courses at New Orleans Baptist seminary…and “aced” them all. In fact, I don’t think she ever made anything lower than an A in her lifetime on anything.
- We LOVE to talk. We discuss beauty, history, and even some theology (when she can get me to!). Her insatiable desire to pursue the deeper aspects of church history and theology spur me on to be a deep person. Love it.
4 - She surprises me
- She was able to do the complicated medical procedure called dialysis on Joel while home schooling and caring for our other five children in the same room.
- She took care of my Daddy’s needs of washing, cooking, and answering his calls as he lived in our home for his last seven years of life. She never once complained.
- She is an accomplished painter and even painted a picture about the Surge Project that became the art for the cover.
5 - She encourages me
- Pastors get down. Perhaps this week’s numbers were less than last week. A family decided to leave the church. The message went awful. A key staff member suddenly departs. Self-doubt sets in and your leadership is up for grabs.
- Melanie always had a Scripture from her consistent daily Bible readings for me. She took a “it’s no big deal” attitude to things that seemed monstrous to me. She laughed as if to say, “Nobody died. What’s the big deal if they left?”
I think I got a keeper. I love you, sweetheart.