Today marks five years that Steve and I have been married. Throughout this week we have been reliving these past five years and marveling at the grace of God through many significant changes, challenges, and most of all—joys. By His grace, we love each other more today than we did five years ago.
Each year on our anniversary, I write Steve a letter, and he writes me a poem. On this special day I want to share one of them with you. Steve wrote this poem, “Eclipse,” for our anniversary two years ago, in September of 2003. But first, a little background.
In February of 2003, our son Jack was born via c-section. However, five days after his birth I was readmitted to the hospital in severe pain. After emergency surgery, it was determined that my colon had ruptured, a life-threatening development if not corrected in time.
I spent the following days in and out of the hospital, fighting off a serious infection and dealing with various unexplained complications. By June of that year I was healthy enough to have a second surgery to repair my colon. And by the time our third anniversary rolled around, I was finally beginning to feel “myself” again. The doctors still do not agree or fully understand what happened, but I am grateful to God to be alive today.
So will you indulge me for a moment? Steve—how can I thank you for your tender care: not only through this trial, but every day of our married life? Your humility, leadership, passionate love, and constant joy have made being married to you something better than I ever could have imagined. And so, I say again, “As you are mine, I am yours. I give away myself for you and dote upon the exchange.”
This poem was not originally written for public consumption. But I share it with you today to remind us all to be grateful for the loved ones God has given to us—whether spouse, parents, siblings, or friends. But most of all, to help us remember that no matter what trial we face, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24)
Some emotions are so powerful they can only be expressed in metaphor.
For Nicole, on our 3rd Anniversary: September 16, 2003
A wedding, some rings, a marriage begun,
Bright were the rays of this rising Sun.
Days swept by, stars circled above
Found Earth and Sun growing in love.
A year gone by, one year became two
Sun warmer still and this love yet grew.
Two and a half years, barely the morning begun
Earth basking in the light of his love, his Sun.
The proof of their love soon came to be
A little Moon brought forth; the womb did flee.
Suddenly light flickers, and quickly it fades
Earth’s bright world thrust into gray shades.
The color is gone, only shapes remain
As Sun grows cold, her heat restrained.
This little Moon has begun his new orbit
But cannot replace, much as Earth loves it.
Moon, he shines, a wonder since birth
But grants not the same warmth to Earth.
The Sun, Earth’s love, the only source
To provide Earth’s heat in matter of course.
The eclipse - not total, yet still severe
Where has Sun gone? For her Earth peers.
What is happening? Earth questions, he wonders.
Will this bond be so quickly ripped asunder?
Will my Sun set premature?
Is Earth a lonely life meant to endure?
When will the day resume?
My light, my Sun, this flower, yet bloom?
This day together, is barely begun,
How can so quickly Earth lose his Sun?
Despair it beckons, and invites Earth to taste,
The bitter thought “this day is a waste.”
Anxiety calls, worry stands close
But finally Earth remembers what matters most
A closer companion than any other one,
The One who holds and keeps safe his Sun.
Stronger than Sun, and bigger than galaxy
He forms the bonds that hold safe Earth’s family.
He intervenes to end the eclipse,
The darkness recedes and loses its grip.
Until finally Earth’s Sun again burns bright,
And color and texture come back into sight.
Warm again, the chill darkness fled,
As Sun’s bright rays fall soft on Earth’s head.
Without Sun, Earth grows cold
And Moon shines not, it must be told.
But Sun is here, brighter than ever,
Yet to eclipse, Earth prays never.
And so Earth dances and Moon he laughs
At sight of Sun back on her path.
For now all is as should be,
My Sun has come back
To bring warmth to Me.