On Saturday we transferred from our hillside villa to a hotel some three miles along the coast where we are to spend our second week here in Lanzarote. The change of atmosphere was very striking. In our first week we were almost on our own, pottering to the local shops for basic foodstuffs, enjoying the peace and quiet, and the occasional word with neighbours over the wall.
This week we were thrust into a bustling hotel, multiple bars and restaurants, three enormous swimming pools, and people everywhere!
We sat together enjoying dinner and people watching in the centre of the busy restaurant, staff bustling about and diners coming and going in an endless stream. But then in the midst of this social whirl we saw three people, each at different tables, dining alone, each of necessity in solitary silence.
Both Sue and I sensed in that moment the immense significance of our lifelong bond, which has shaped our lives for nigh on fifty years. We have lived within its blessing, leaning into its promises to keep us safe when times were hard, and rejoicing in its strength when good times came around once more - through thick and thin, richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. Within the blink of an eye and a glance across the table we shared and silently celebrated our continuing blessing. A moment to be treasured.
Not always hand in hand
Nor heart in heart,
But promises in Christ still hold
When human love alone won't stand
Nor strength sufficient part.
Forgiveness and the heart to reconcile
Lie deep within the mystery
Of a lifetime's love;
A superhuman gift
Concealed in God made man
A failing and a fallen world
For love alone,
And this our Maker's firstborn plan.
This deepest gift
Mere glances between lovers share
That we as images of Him
Are born to bear.
(c) Martin Wild 2018