Never take love for granted

Dr. Roy E. De Brand, Professor of Homiletics Emeritus, Campbell University Divinity School
Feb. 14, 2014 @ 07:22 PM

 Life’s unspeakable tragedies often bring out our greatest attributes. I saw this vividly illustrated in one of my pastorates. In the first hour I arrived in town, before the moving van even arrived, I learned of the tragic death of a beautiful young daughter of one of the deacons in the church. She died of complications from the birth of their second child, a boy. Only 25 years old, she left in addition to the infant a 6-year-old daughter and a devastated husband named Bob.

Bob had written several poems to Marilyn during their life together. He’d leave them on the dresser when he went to work or hide them under the pillow so she’d find them at night. Immediately following her death he wrote this poem to her while sitting alone in the hospital chapel. It was read at her funeral.

"To Marilyn—

Time has known no greater love than you have given to me. Walk softly with me, my love, for the clouds soften your steps. Use the winds as your voice to say gently, “I love you.” Let the spring showers tell me that we have been apart too long. Use nature as your pen and the Earth as your tablet and write forever our love for each other.

If I could change my love to energy, I would split open the heavens and roll back the stars and ask God to join us for an eternity of love. This time will surely come, but I know I must go—I have our family to raise and a whole new life to conquer.

Treat her softly, my Lord, because I can’t be there. Kiss her forever so gently my God and tell her we’re okay. I will remember her in the rhythm of the rain and the coolness of snow. I will never forget her because she is life itself; she is the smile in my little girl’s eyes, and the coo on our new baby’s lips. Breathe softly on her, Lord, for she is here as all young lovers touch and become as one and pledge their love to each other.

Time has known no greater love than what I gave to her. God will know no stronger love than that which we shared together."

Let this Valentine’s season remind each of us of the sanctity of love and marriage. God’s ideal from Creation was that a man and a woman should be joined together in marriage until “the two become one” (Genesis 2:24). Let us never take this sacred relationship for granted. We never know how long we may have together.