My Elusive Dove

It’s been nearly 20 years now since the day we met. You heard me preaching and it sparked a flame. A perpetual encourager, with bright smile and eyes deep and brown; you thanked me for speaking with clarity and conviction. Given the theme of my message, some may have thought it odd. For I spoke of seeing dead people. Living in the vivid wilds of Wyoming, with rugged mountains, rushing rivers and beautiful people full of adventure and playful simplicity, why be some morose Eeyore?

Reason: despite the elegance and allure, the tan skin and natural curves, despite the healthy blood, sweat, and breath as forests and lakes are explored and mountains and heavens climbed, despite the dancing and mirth, the geronimos, the glamor, the glee, there lies beneath the veneer, an abiding sadness, sorrow, and sin. Like a picture frame all dolled up, be it glittering gold, or rustic reclaimed, without a painting or portrait to captivate the soul’s imagination, one is left to endure a never ending hallway of empty edifices. It was towards that end that I spoke, to speak light into night, to lift the veil, echo an alarm, to quicken hearts, stir souls, for the vanity of our playful paradise to be uncovered and exposed. What good is creation without our Creator? Why inherit the wind, when you could inherit the earth?

It was here, in Wyoming Wild, where we first met. And then before week’s end, our lives were shaken by 9/11. Even glorious mountain vistas bled that tragic day. So don’t speak to me of happy clappy, as the world caves in, buildings crumble, and trust is broken. It seems our first moments were forged in a fire of the beautiful, broken honesty of our lives.

Our friendship grew, relationships were defined, hearts were guarded, broken, healed. We moved apart, thousands of miles, but the affections of our hearts beat deep for Christ our King. And then years later, a phone call, an awkward moment, “I really miss you.” After costly phone calls filled with costly grace, we met again. We climbed a mountain and made it our own. “Will you marry me?” You floated down, the joy was mine. We shared in celebrating the union of two dear friends that day. Little did we know that after winter’s snow settled, stayed, then melted away, we’d return to that same beautiful view, where you and I would echo, “I do.”

We honeymooned in Hawaii, thanks Uncle Paul! Quite an adventure! Beautiful beaches, lush, rainy, and very muddy hikes, ocean kayaking, dinner sailing. Don’t forget my dove, amidst kayaking vast open waters, full of deep swells and unknown creatures below, we never huli’d. I’m grateful for the wind in our sails that brought us safely home on that final stretch.

Fast forward: Fifteen years husband and wife, three precious children, and God’s constant grace and provision. God alone knows when that final stretch of our tandem together across space and time will be. I pray we’ve many more years to adventure, explore, and dream, sowing seeds of love and Gospel hope into each other’s hearts, our children’s hearts, and all those we are blessed to share life with. It’s a joy to share life with you, my elusive dove.

So today, I celebrate you! I celebrate and thank God for you every day, but today is an ebenezer, a monument, a reminder that you are a gift from God, and life with you is so much better, so much brighter, so much more beautiful. I love you Meg!

I’ll end with a simple poem, from my heart to you:

My Elusive Dove

You alone, woman I love

I Celebrate You!

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