We stand at the glass counter, lights shining overhead, in the counter, everywhere it seems. It is quiet, serene really. Our jeweler speaks in calm, hushed tones with a gentle smile.
I show her my ring. This ring of twelve years, the symbol of the second greatest commitment I've made in my whole life. Made it in near complete ignorance at the optimistic age of twenty-one. But I haven't looked back. Much. Yes, there are moments when life seems too much and how did I get here?
Never, never, though, when looking at my Savior do I regret. He bathed that January day in light and I said those vows as the Son shone through the wall-sized windows onto my back and I knew He was saying, "Yes." "Yes, this is good. Yes, I have a plan."
Over twelve years later and we're at a jeweler's counter again. This time we've already picked the ring. It's just that over time the ring's become unwearable. Within an hour my skin breaks out in a rash. The little diamond has fallen out and it is overall dull in hue. The shape is no longer circular.
It needs a tune-up. The kind lady explains how build-up grows in the crevices of the ring. How using hands for hard work warps the circle. This ring knows both...build-up and much use. Sweetly she instructs me to take it off when I cook, clean, do the dishes, put on lotion, wash my hands, work outside.
Bewilderment shows on my face and I say, "then I'll never wear my ring." Only for brief moments am I not doing those activities, and how could I remember to put it on just then?
And such is my marriage. Sweet moments tucked in here and there. Breaks and rests, fun and freedom. Mostly, though, it is hard work. Maintenance. Getting my hands dirty and wet and giving my all for another.
Warping my shape, my personality, my preferences for the promise I made in the presence of many witnesses.
The beauty comes, though, in the duration of time. It's richness fills the places I've lost and really, I've only gained.
I put the ring back on, polished, circular, complete with another little diamond. Ready to go another twelve years if the Lord of our marriage sees fit to give us such a gift.
It's all right with me if it gets dirty again.