I love him for so many reasons. It was a slow-growing love. He knew far before I knew, and now, that is one of the reasons I love him. He loved me first.
The summer I worked in Lake City, he wrote me letters. This was after my graduation from college and before I went to India. I didn't really know him. We had talked a few times on the phone, but only seen each other twice in person. I was a little confused by the letters. I showed them to Charlton and Nick, our adopted brothers from Colorado State U. I showed them to Dan, Amy's husband, a wise and witty guy and a guy you know you can trust. Charlton, Nick, and Dan all agreed. If a guy writes you letters, he's probably interested.
"Shoot," I thought. I didn't know what to do. I was moving to India, for goodness sake. I had just come out of a relationship and wasn't ready for another. One day, I came home from a shift at the ice-cream shop. Carol, my house-mom, told me I had a letter upstairs. A little bubble of excitement rose in me. "Stop." I said to myself. "You are not interested." I climbed the stairs and saw the letter on our nightstand. Then I had this feeling, a feeling I cannot aptly describe in words. There are times when certainties drop before us, and this was one of those times. What was I certain of? I don't know exactly, only that this Aaron boy was going to be important, and that there was a deep, deep joy inside my heart.
But I was going to India.
So tuck away the joy and certainty, little heart, and look ahead to the next thing.
He kept writing. Another letter, this time on another continent. Sheila, my Kolkata roommate, and I sat on our bed, talking. We had seen a man on the sidewalk, covered in flies and his own excrement. What to do? Oh! Sheila remembered I had a letter, and she gave it to me. From Aaron. We set aside the thought of the man while I read the letter. There, in Aaron's letter, were words that set a fire under our apathy.
to draw in dirt
clearing away the
stained bed sheets
visiting the paralytic
Had we ever really had any other option than to help this man? Sheila and I went back, ashamed, humbled. And I tucked away another signpost--that the Lord used Aaron to send the exact words we needed at the exact time.
For a year and a half he wrote letters, prayed, and waited. The day after I got back from India, he made his move. Quick on his feet, this Aaron. We sat in swings, and I pushed my feet into the wood chips. "Do you think it's rebellious that I have a nose ring?" I asked him. "It's beautiful in India." He listened to my broken heart, and I wondered why he was still waiting after all this time. What, I wondered, did he see in me?
Through the months that followed, months in which I questioned God's goodness and struggled with sorrow, Aaron was God's goodness to me. All seemed wrong in the world, but Aaron reminded me of light. He sang the sweet song of love and truth when I could not remember the melody or the words. I became a teacher. My life became one big lesson plan and grading pen. Aaron would come over, send me to bed, and stay up to grade papers for me.
In eight days I get to marry this incredible man. He is a servant and a leader. He loves people with compassion and conviction. He works hard at whatever his hands find to do. He hungers for the Word of God.
I love you, Aaron.