A Tribute

(The purpose of my blog is to have a vehicle by which I can capture and share some my thoughts, ideas and insights in writing.  Today however, I want to use my blog to share my heart in a very personal way.)

40 years ago, this very day, a skinny young man, not quite 20 years old, stepped into a church building and took his place next to a beautiful young woman.  He was aware then, as he is aware now, that she out-classed him in every way.  He was marrying up!

The people in the church, more than a few who are no longer with us, heard the promises they made.  They were made sincerely, yet in blissful ignorance.  Most importantly however, the God whom the young couple did not yet know also heard the promises.  And so their journey together began.

Little did I know that the God who heard the promises spoken would one day use our painful failures to dramatically and graciously reveal Himself to us.  Little did I know that in our brokenness we would find genuine and eternal Life.  Little did I know the journey that awaited us would eventually and literally take us around the world – together.

And little did I know, on that day 40 years ago, what an amazing gift that Patty would be to me over the course of my life.  Unlike any other she has been the voice by which the Lord has spoken to me.  Unlike any other she has been a tangible expression of His generosity, compassion, kindness, forgiveness and perseverance.

There is no doubt in my mind that Patty, with her gentle yet tenacious strengths and her self-aware and transparent weaknesses, expresses love wherever she goes.  Patty’s ability to love those who are thorny and difficult far outstrips mine and beckons me to dig deeper.  She has the ability to leap over thick walls that hurting people have erected to protect their painful hearts.  She awakens trust in others.  She notices and seeks out those who hide in the shadows.  Her heart is big.

Patty is not perfect, but she is perfectly suited for me.  I thank the Lord for Patty and our 40 years of crazy life together.  I am more aware than ever, that each future day He will give us is a gift.

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9 Responses to A Tribute

  1. Teresa Nightingale says:

    Beautiful, sweet, and precious. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Emily says:

    Awww…happy anniversary! Personally, I’m very thankful you two got married! 😉

  3. Jackie says:

    Yes, Patty is amazing gift from God. I’m very thankful for the two of you and love you very much. Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!

  4. charles and karen says:

    Ray, Patty.
    Little did I know 19 years ago I would meet a couple who would play a part in my quest for a closer walk with GOD and a desire to love and serve my wife. 19 years ago when we worked together for ABBA I knew that you would in some way be in our life. Ray, you and Patty are a beacon of lite and a ray of life to GODS people and people of the world. Your a GOD send. thank you. Charles and Karen

  5. Shelly says:

    Happy Anniversary! Patty is awesome, gifted, warm, funny, witty, an amazing homemaker and cook, mom grandmom and friend! Together you make a dynamic duo!
    May the Lord bless your years ahead and continue to use you to reveal the Beauty of Jesus!

  6. Julie says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your wife! She truly is the picture of a gentle shepherdess picked from the hillside to take down giants in the land. Happy Anniversary! God bless you…. there’s much more to come. Julie

  7. Julie says:

    P.S. – and Patty – the Lord has given you a precious gift as well. Patience. HA HA HA HA HA I’m just kidding – Ray, you truly are a giant-slayer too. The two of you make a killer combo. Blessings to you.

  8. Kate says:

    Dear Ray,
    Thank you for your beautiful and true words about the Patty I know and love. Your gracious words say a lot about your beautiful and generous character too. You are both an inspiration to me, and I hope our physical paths cross again in the not-too-distant future. There are a lot of hugs that must pass between us. If you are ever in the vicinity of Taiwan, pleaaaase let me know.
    I love you very much,
    Kate
    P.S. Any anniversary picture of you both?

  9. Teresa Belle says:

    I’m reading this one a little late but wow, what a tribute and what a love.
    I hope you have 40 more together. 🙂

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