Monday Devotional
Dear Friend,
 
Last month, I wrote a very personal devotion about our daughter’s high school graduation.  At the time, I mentioned that it was one of two personal pieces I was planning to write.  Today is the second one.
 
Ten years ago this week, Diane and I stood at the altar, surrounded by our children, and pledged our love for one another.  A friend read a poem at our wedding entitled, “The Art of Marriage.”  It begins with the phrase, “A good marriage doesn’t just happen.  It must be created.”  It ends with the line, “It is not about marrying the right partner, it is about being the right partner.”  That has been very accurate.
 
In the years that have followed, we have experienced some wonderful adventures.  We have traveled to incredible places, walking the streets of Florence, Italy late into the evening, experiencing a medieval dinner in Tallin, Estonia, watching the sunset on a small island in Canada, receiving an unexpected private tour of an art collection in San Francisco, and walking down Beale Street in Memphis enjoying wonderful music.  We have danced to polka music without worrying about who might be watching.  We have been there for one another in times of loss as our mothers and other friends and loved ones have passed away.  We have laughed and we have cried. Reflecting upon it all, I consider myself an extremely fortunate man to love and be loved by such an incredible person.
 
In keeping with the theme of this summer’s devotions, I want to share a line from the writings of Mark Twain.  In his novel, “Eve’s Diary,” Twain wrote a fictional account of Adam and Eve.  He recounts their adventures from the Garden of Eden and beyond.  Though written primarily from Eve’s perspective, Adam gets a few entries.
 
The novel is really a veiled story about Twain’s relationship with his wife.  After a bout of illness, she passed away.  Twain wrote this book as a tribute to her.  The final words of the novel, given to Adam after the death of Eve are really his own words aimed at his beloved wife.  Adam closes the novel with the phrase, “Wherever she was, there was Eden.”
 
I cry every time I read those words.  Simply beautiful.  My tears stem from the fact that Twain has captured my own feelings with more eloquence than I could ever have done.  These ten years have been filled with so much love and appreciation for a partner to share these life adventures. 
 
But this is not a devotion about my love for Diane (and even if it was, this would not substitute for an anniversary gift…she wouldn’t let me off that easily!)  My deeper purpose is the hope that you will find those persons who embody that same spirit for you.  It might be a spouse or it could be a good friend or maybe a sibling or other family member.  It is the person with whom you can be completely at ease knowing that you love him or her as they are and that they love you in the same way.  Let us give thanks for those whose presence always makes our lives a bit better.
    
Peace, 
Howard