We could write a book. We should write a book. We likely won’t write a book. But, I will tell a little of the story. 27 years ago at 7 p.m. we looked at each other and said, “I do.” For 31 years we have grown to be the best of friends. In fact, that is how it all started. We ran in the same circle of friends and then found ourselves circling each other.
Some may consider it a bit biased, but she is one of the most creative, endearing, soft, spiritual people I know. Patty is a giver, preferring to be quiet though she can be very boisterous. Often referred to as “a-typical” when it comes to being a “pastor’s wife.” But then again, I have often been considered “a-typical” for a pastor. It is not that we are profane. It is more than we prefer to live into our humanity realizing that without Jesus we would surely devolve into something less than human.
In some ways the intersection of our stories represent the clash of vastly different experiences of life. Rather than a story of rich meets poor, it is more a story of different meets different. Too often we think these kinds of stories are different meets normal. But we have learned walking with hundreds of people in different Christian faith communities there really is no normal. The idea of normal is a pretense – one we prefer to shun.
Last year we entered a new period in our lives – the birds flew the coup. Kimberly married Craig nearly 6 years ago. Tommie and Jason will celebrate year number 1 soon. We hope we have gifted them with not the ideal marriage but the ideal friendship. Too many I have talked to about marriage discover what Bonhoeffer described about participation in a faith community – our wish dreams kill the thing. In fact, I think Bonhoeffer’s description in Life Together could well help many face the loss of innocence and the crashing to earth of the lofty ideal.
We enter human relationships not for the fulfillment of our dreams, but for what we will become. I am a better person, man, dad, husband, pastor, and friend having spent more than 2/3 of my life with my best friend. Yes, I do believe it is the grace of God at work. But I dare not diminish the very way in which that grace has been experienced in Patty.
May you be graced with just such a person in your life.