She wouldn’t describe it as immediate attraction, but love at first sight isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway. A quick survey of biblical couples is enough to caution against placing too much stock in hasty physical attraction. “The more impetuous a relationship’s beginning, the more difficult it may be to stabilize it later” (Yitzchak Ginsberg). King David was not emotionally prepared for either of his encounters with love at first sight. David was smitten when he first laid eyes on Abigail, but being a “woman of intelligence” (1 Samuel 25:3) she convinced him to wait until he cooled down from his fever pitch. Her wisdom was vindicated by his later impetuousness with Bathsheba. Though described as a “man after God’s own heart,” David’s rash response to physical and emotional urges landed him in hot water more often than not. Blessed is the man who meets a woman that both ignites a spark under him, and coaxes it into a slow burning flame that grows over time. I am that man.
I met the best part of my life at a predetermined place and time. We planned to meet outside the Navarro County courthouse in Corsicana, having mutually agreed to eating lunch together at a neutral site so that either or both of us could make a graceful exit should the experience prove uncomfortable or unbearable. I arrived first, and sat in my pickup nervously waiting for her to pull up. When she did, even from a distance I could see that she was attractive, and her arrival in a sporty Acura RSX made me feel all the more awkward and out of place. I sat frozen to the stained bench seat of my old Ford while she waited for me to exit my truck and walk over to greet her. After what seemed an eternity to us both, I garnered enough courage to make my way to her open window. We exchanged greetings and I invited her to join me for lunch a few blocks away at Roy’s Cafe on Beaton Street. The date was off to a sluggish start, largely because I proved adept at all the wrong things. She chose healthy salad-something while I doused my chicken fried steak in ketchup, but for reasons known only to her she agreed to extend our date by walking together down Beaton and stepping into antique shoppes. To my surprise and utter delight, we kept finding reasons to prolong the experience, extending the date a full eight hours. What was even more unexpected was her willingness to see me again. We married six months later, and today we celebrate our wedding anniversary. The attraction is stronger now than ever because it has deepened into appreciation. I recognize the value of my wife and can honestly say that I see God’s grace in her eyes every morning; I married way out of my league. To say that I wish her a happy anniversary would be trite and hackneyed, as well as woefully inadequate. What I want to do is acknowledge her immeasurable worth by being the man I could never be without her. This is not love defined by attraction; it is far more meaningful than that. It is appreciation, satisfaction, adoration, respect, friendship, astonishment and passion enough for a lifetime. Thank God I got out of the truck and said ‘hello.’