After 42 years, still striving to be and to see “A Single Image”

BJLJweddingphotoOn August 31, 2015, Brenda Joyce, “the wife of my youth, in whom I rejoice,” and I enjoyed a glorious weekend celebration that combined the 55th anniversary of my graduation from high school with our 42nd wedding anniversary. At my high school reunion, as the self-designated “Poet Laureate” of the Class of 1960 of Froebel High School, Gary, Indiana, I shared an original poem “Fifty-five blessed years: Reflecting on our journey—Projecting toward our future.” In thinking about our wedding anniversary, I recall that shortly after Brenda and I first met, we both knew that we were the answer to one another’s prayers to God. Prior to our meeting, I recall that I from time to time I would think deeply about the woman that I would someday marry, and such an occasion became the inspiration for this poem originally written for our anniversary:

Before I Knew You

for my beloved Brenda

I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

When through the mist I beheld your lovely face.

Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

I could not speak your name, yet somehow I knew you

Would be all I could desire in style and grace.

I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

Alone, I saw the sunset, told myself you too

Needed a dearest friend to share this special place.

Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

Alone, I passed the time and asked myself who you

Were dreaming of, yet still longing to embrace.

I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

I yearned to give my life, to share my soul with you

Who would make me feel whole and fill my empty space.

Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

God stretched out his hand, and then He gently drew you

To me with a true love that time cannot erase.

I thought of you long before I ever knew you.

Before our two lives touched, my heart reached out to you.

Brenda and I met in Washington, DC in the spring of 1971, prior to my enrolling in a ministry training program. Through a series of providential circumstances, she worked at the headquarters while I was in training, and we developed a serious relationship that ultimately led to our getting married after my graduation.

Our marriage continues be a remarkable journey of discovery, as we endeavor to apprehend to a greater degree the wonders of the “one flesh” relationship, whereby we strive to reflect and project this poetic expression:

A Single Image

“For this reason shall a man leave

his father and mother,

and be joined to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31

 

look upon the

mirror of our

soul

and

see

a

single image

one heart

wearing no

ill will

one mouth

speaking peace

and promises

fulfilled

one hand

bearing

only love

open

outstretched

toward you

we stand

before you

naked

unafraid

and free

there is

no fear

in love

so why

should we

we are His

He is one

so are we

one

plus

one

makes

one

in

word

in

deed

in

truth

To remind us God’s divine design for marriage, Leon Patillo offers a moving rendition of “Flesh of My Flesh”:

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One Response to “After 42 years, still striving to be and to see “A Single Image””

  1. Brenda Johnson Says:

    I had forgotten about Leon Patillo’s song. It has been years since I heard it. I used to play it often…beautiful. Love it!

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