We slipped out of the Masquerade Ball early because we had a babysitter, and no matter how fancy the company, the two of us won’t waste the chance to be alone. This stage of small children makes date nights feel like a visit to the marital ER. The ice storm was on its way, and the air lingered with the last jets of warm. It was just chilly enough for me to tuck my exposed arms into your arm. High heels hurt my feet, but I love walking in them like a girl in dress-up. I love walking with you up Dickson Street. We crossed the street to Bordino’s but then looked back from where we had walked and saw the Used Bookstore. Quickly we crossed back over. We walked straight to the poetry, skimming titles; you squatted in the floor. I saw John Ciardi and said “you will love this.”
My gown was floor length. Leonard Cohen was singing over us. I crouched with you, we leaning on a wall of ancient books. I read a poem out loud to you, and it was perfect. Then you stood up and said, “we have to buy it.” Poetry captures you. The Masquerade Ball did not.
At dinner I told you how thankful I am that you’re a lawyer. There are moments that it makes you shine. You love a courtroom. It makes me laugh because I hope to never step foot in a courtroom. You love to order words. Your gift of persuasion has done you well by me and many others. I know what is beneath it, too.
When I married you, you had never mentioned becoming an attorney. You were a youth minister. You were a young preacher. It’s funny that your gift of preaching has followed you into maturity and that no matter how hard you tried to run from it, you still do it. It’s what makes you come alive. You love to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.
Mike said I should have seen you in Ethiopia. I wish I could see you on African soil, but I know that when you come home, you smile and shake your head and have a hard time finding words. I expect poetry to come of it all. You became a poet when words couldn’t add up. Poetry doesn’t do math. It speaks in mystery.
I have watched you come alive in the mystery. When you lead worship, I believe you step outside of your own body a little. When you play you stomp your feet. The question is – “what makes you stomp your feet?” Music and persuasive expression of spirit make you stomp your feet.
This is when you are most attractive to me, when Africa is the smell trapped in your bag, when your throbbing heart beats out of your mouth: poetry, mystery, praise.
I love you.
Marriage Letters go up the first Monday of every month, and you’re welcome to link up your own letter any time during the month. The Marriage Letter prompt for April 7th is “How We Co-labor.” So you have an entire month to think on it!
Now write a letter to your spouse expressing what you see makes her/him come alive. I can’t wait to read these. Make sure to link up below with the permalink to your Marriage Letters post only and send your readers this direction, too. Let’s stake a claim in our marriages and encourage others to do the same. Thank you for joining us in this.