An angel trusted me that day. She appeared at the church entry door—dressed in white, veiled in mystery. Her dazzling smile weakened my knees and sent my heart racing. The music began, and so did an everlasting dance with this gift from heaven.
As she walked down the aisle with her parents, every step brought a fresh reminder. This young woman was getting ready to sever a mooring line to a strong foundation, to leave the security of a loving home. Yet, she displayed no fear. Indeed, her face glowed with anticipation. An adventure awaited, and she trusted me. Yes, she trusted without reservation.
The minister said, “Who gives this woman?” and her parents released her to my hand. The line had been cut, and she moored her vessel to a new foundation—untested and uncertain. Yet, she trusted. She grasped my hand without hesitation.
When we spoke our vows, I told her that I would be faithful to her, forsaking all others, for as long as we both shall live, that my promise would last till death do us part. And my heart raced again. Would she believe me?
Her eyes looked into mine, sparkling, happy, fearless. They said, “I trust you with all my heart.” Then she promised her love to me, repeating the words, for as long as we both shall live. She attached her hope, her safety, her future to me, till death do us part.
Who is this woman who would forsake her foundation and entrust so much to me? Who am I to make such promises when I don’t know what the next day will bring, much less what the years will hold? Is this promise of faithfulness a fool’s dream, a hopeful leap into darkness?
No. Fools dream of promises they cannot believe. Darkness is reserved for those who carry no light. If this trusting woman felt safety in latching on to me, I wasn’t about to shatter her trust … ever. Not even a shadow would pass across the light we both carried. Her trust in me would never waver. Nay, trust would be solidified daily—firmer, surer, stronger. I would continue speaking my vows with my actions, my resolve, and my devotion. I will be faithful till death do us part.
What kind of man would turn from his bride to another woman? A scoundrel? A villain? A fool? Yes, all of these. Yet, he is something worse. He is a traitor. He has set a blade to the mooring line. He has destroyed trust. He has betrayed his bride and undressed her in public. He has made her into a fool for trusting her life to a ruthless cad.
This world whispers into men’s ears that they are animals, wild and restless, unable to bind their hearts to one woman, to nestle their heads in one bosom and be satisfied there. As men follow senseless urges, the whispers become shouts, and the lies become truth in the shallow minds of fools who follow the crowds. And their wives weep. There is no pain greater than broken trust, no pill so bitter as betrayal. They have become widows in heart.
My dearest, I have not listened to the whispers. I have not believed the lies. I have spurned the crowds, and I am being faithful. Till death do us part. And your trust continues. Thank God, your trust continues. No shadow of betrayal has ever come between us and never will.
I would be a fool to allow that to happen. You are the finest person I know, an amazing blessing, a precious gem … my best friend. It is heaven on earth to have you at me side every step of our sometimes-unpredictable path toward the gates of glory.
The journey continues. Years pass. Decades come and go. Children grow into responsible adults. They leave home and begin journeys of their own. Experience crowns our heads with gray and etches wrinkles in our faces. Our joints creak, and our bodies bend. We become beautiful only in the eyes of each other, for the mirror cannot see our hearts. If it could, the mirror, mirror on the wall would say that yours is the fairest of them all.
As the journey winds toward the sunset horizon, our hands stay clasped, because we know this truth—together we are able to stand, to walk, to finish this course, God as our strength and provider. In this faith, we have never wavered, and in this faith, we will never stumble.
A day will come when another angel will call, a deathbed visitor. A weeping survivor will grasp the hand of a failing spouse, and a final kiss will mark the end of this magnificent covenant. And then your trust in me will be validated. Our vows will be confirmed. I will be able to say, “I have been faithful to you always. The line was never broken. Although death parts us for a time, you are my forever friend. Thank you for believing in me.”
Happy 35th anniversary, Susie, my beloved.