Outside of the grace of God what is the greatest blessing He has placed in your life? It’s mighty hard to say: the wild oats I sowed that did not come to harvest, the opportunity to preach His Word, working at a very young age with the church at Hamilton, being honored to work with Granny White, David coming in my office and planting a seed about the church at Spring Meadows, two sons who love the Lord, two daughter-in-laws who love Him and “them,” a mom and dad who loved me and taught me right from wrong, health, living at this time in this place, a new grandson...I’m not sure I could say. BUT the one I want to write about tonight would take backseat to none of these. It hasn’t dawned on her but 30 years ago tonight I was at Maywood Christian Camp. It was the “watermelon hike.” We walked up Maywood road and then back to camp and somewhere alone the way I got up the nerve to hold Melanie’s hand - and she didn’t jerk it away! No one thing has so totally affected my past present and future as that night.
After the ball field devotional the kids went to bed. I’m sure that Thursday night some of the other staff was up to mischief and some of the kids were pulling pranks but I didn’t know about it. We sat in the teaching station next to the Director’s Hut and talked and talked and talked. All night. We shared hopes and dreams.
She is not too keen on this but there was only one person making a decision about love that night. I already knew that Melanie was the person I wanted to marry. I don’t mean this in any way creepy. But she was everything I wanted in a wife. She was (and still is) beautiful. She was intelligent. I enjoyed talking to her. She was, most of all, obviously deeply committed to the Lord.
About the time the sun was coming up - I kissed her - then she went to her cabin and I went to mine just in time to be in bed when dad came over the mic with his familiar “Riiiiiiissseee and Shine....Rise and Shine.” I’ve not kissed another woman since.
Outside of the decision I made to become a Christian it was and is the best decision I ever made. If you know Melanie you know I don't have to tell you how unique and special she is.
It is said so often among men who love their wives that they “out-kicked their coverage.” I suspect that, that very feeling is what causes those guys marriages to succeed. When and if we begin to believe our spouse was pretty lucky to get us - that is when we go from serving to wanting to be served. That is when we go from appreciating to thinking we should be appreciated. That is when we go from a sense of “awe” that she said yes, to thinking we might could have done better. And that is when we end up in trouble.
I don't mind being a little corny. She is my wisest advisor, my biggest earthly comforter, my best friend, the person I want to share everything with, my go to person, my most honest critic, my biggest supporter. Yes, in every way, I out-kicked my coverage! And, yes, I know you already knew that :).
30 years ago today. Wow. I'm blessed.