This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Smorgybord Saturday: The Dance

As the couple glided across the dance floor in unison, everyone was amazed.  Had they really been married for 60 years?  The game at the wedding, in lieu of the garter and bouquet toss, had been quite clever.  All married couples were ordered to the dance floor positioned at the center of the banquet hall.  As the couples gathered, it was explained that the game was such that the couples would be excused by length of marriage, shortest to longest.  Immediately couples left who were married less than a year, less than 2, then 5, 10 and so on, until only one couple was left who had just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary earlier in the year. 

They didn't appear old enough to have been married 60 years, but family members quickly verified it as fact.  The proof, however, could be seen clearly as the wedding guests watched them move fluidly as one.  What they could not see were the triumphs and troubles that they had passed through together to arrive at this moment in time.  The truth was that though they had had always danced well together, they had not always moved so fluidly in life together.  60 years of marriage had required a great deal of work and a blind commitment to an uncertain future regardless of circumstance. 

Divorce, as Bill had discovered fairly early on, was not an option for Helen.  He suggested it once and she flatly explained to him that it was not possible, she was Catholic.  In his youthful inexperience, he assumed it was truly impossible and didn't realize until later that she simply refused his efforts to open the escape hatch that so many pass through.   

Bill and Helen had married young, running away to Nevada at the green ages of 17 and 15, respectively.  They legalized their union in the only way they could, they lied.  If the wedding guests realized this bit of information, it might have explained the discrepancy between their appearance and their 6 decade long marriage. 

Shortly after they were married, they started their family.  Bill had joined the Navy and traveled for extended periods of time.  Despite his time away, they still managed to have 6 children, though 2 passed shortly after birth as a result of prematurity.  It was during this time of difficulty that Bill realized he needed God, and God changed everything for the both of them.

60 years is a lifetime for some and for this couple 60 years represented a lifetime together, building a strong marriage, building a close-knit family, building a powerful ministry and building the Kingdom of God in this earth together.  There are many tales told around the Thanksgiving table each year in their home, tales of joy, heartbreak, rebellion, love, triumph, salvation, forgiveness, amongst others.  On those special days, their home is filled with 4 adult children and their spouses, 12 grandchildren, some grown and married some still single and at home, 8 great-grandchildren and the promise of many more to come.  Still dancing as one and living as one and at the core of it all is God. 

As the song wound down and the guests rejoined them on the dance floor, the question as to how they made it 60 years slipped from their minds.  The young unmarried people returned to their thoughts of love being a feeling or an attraction as evidenced by butterflies and distractedness.  The various newlyweds believing that they would be just like Bill and Helen when they themselves had been married so long, not realizing the hardships they would have to pass through, the injuries, pain and loss they would endure to get there.  Those couples who found themselves a decade or 2 into their nuptials understood what lay ahead, hoping and praying that they too would persevere. 

Love is a commitment, a covenant that is sealed through marriage and refined over a life time.  It is a choice, not just at the altar on the big day, but in every moment of every day.  Our marriage relationships are a big part of our overall spiritual journey in Christ and we must consider His example as we make our choices. 

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

To spend time with Bill and Helen in the comfort of their home would only show that they are not lucky to have made it 60 years, but they have daily chosen to endure the obstacles of life with one another.  They continue to move through this life just as they do on the dance floor; gracefully, fluidly and comfortably as one.               


  1. I needed this tonight. Thanks <3

  2. I've needed it more than once in my life!

  3. Thank you!
    <3 Evie