Today strikes nine years since our two became one. Nine years since our boy-girl selves waited at opposites ends of the isle, love struck and optimistic about the future. Nine years since we made a Covenant before our Lord and then set up in a tiny apartment in a sketchy part of town. Nine years since we declared, overcome by sheer passion and the wonder of it all, that we'd never let the flame that we thought was love, grow dim. Nine years.
It's not a lot, nine years, especially compared to those who have been wed a lifetime. It's definitely not worthy of celebration by the world's standard. It has no claim on pearls, silver, or gold and for certain there are no slots notched out for it at the local card store. But how this 9th anniversary resonates with me more than any of the others, simply because I now understand that the sheer passion and wonder of it all is not enough. Love must be done.
Love is in the purposeful touch even when the kids run rampant below and dinner threatens to burn. It's running to a drug store in the middle of the night for cough drops or massaging a tight neck after a hard days work. It's completely stopping what you are doing to get something off a high shelf. It's really listening to the other person, even if that person is talking about records :) It's smiling more , saying, "thank you" more, and giving more. It's leaving a note tucked between the sandwich and the chips or an "I Love You" phone call, despite the fact that work is swamped. It's bearing each others burdens. Simply, it is done.
Claiming to love is not enough.
Passion is not enough.
Love must be done.
"...let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3: 18
So I thank you, my sweet husband, that every day of these last nine years, in quiet, self-sacrificing actions, your words have given way to deeds. Coffee brewed, steaming in cup, as my not so peachy self stumbles down the hallway. Taking me and waiting with me each time I have to go to the ER with a migraine. Bathing the boys every night so I can have a few minutes of quiet "milking the cows." You have compassion for where I hurt, concern for what troubles me, and grace for when I fail. And it's been in all these deeds that your "I do" has taught me that love really is all about the do.
Happy Anniversary, Darling. I love you so much.