It’s our 36th anniversary today. 36 years of marriage to a person I will never fully understand, but who fits in my life like he is the missing puzzle piece.
Yesterday I had coffee with my friend Ava, the first coffee I’ve had with a friend since February. It was amazing to sit inside a cafe, talking together and enjoying the coffee and the company.
I mentioned to her that my anniversary was today – 36 years to the same man. Ava is much younger than I am and has been through more in her young life then I will ever understand. But she looked at me and said beautiful and encouraging words over our marriage.
The friendship you share is priceless.
She went on to talk a bit about what she has observed in our marriage. It was deeply encouraging. Ava is part of our pandemic pod and we have seen her more than we have seen anybody else in these past months. She has seen us in our good and our bad, has observed us through the stress of sadness and death and the unknown of a virus that has changed the world.
Sometimes you need an outsider to help you discern and understand the beauty of something you take for granted. Outside eyes see ingredients that you may have placed on a back shelf and bring them forward, helping you to marvel about all you can make and do with this gift. All the ingredients that western cultures say you need for marriage perhaps account for only a fraction of the lasting value of friendship.
“The friendship you share is priceless….” for what truly makes for the ingredients of a lasting friendship and a brave marriage? I don’t know for others, but for us I’ll give it a try.
Mix one cup of detail with one cup of spontaneity, add a few teaspoons of bitter with a full cup of sweet, a pinch of disaster with a few tablespoons of crisis. Pour in 18 homes and four countries. Mix with four international moves and three job losses. Add in a swiss watch and a sun dial. Mix with faith and a strong cup of the Jesus Prayer. Add 36 years of adventure, a whole lot of 6-second kisses, and some sleepless nights.
Bake at whatever temperature you want. Frost with five children and two (so far) grandchildren. Serve with a fusion of Pakistani, Middle-Eastern, Kurdish, and Southern food. Eat with friends and family from around the world.
And there you have it. Happy Anniversary to my Love. We are brave friends in a brave marriage, and that by God’s wonderful grace and love.