Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wife Rule #42: A Perfect Ten (Part Two)

I still remember the first time I saw you. You stood up, about five rows in front of me in the giant auditorium that housed our 700-plus-member freshman Biology class.

You wore a muted floral print on your skirt and a plain blouse, and your hair was permed into gorgeous golden curls. With the lights back on at the end of the lecture, you looked briefly around the room in preparation to leave for your next class, providing me with stunning profile shots to memorize. My heart stuttered briefly when your gaze passed unnoticingly over the spot where I was sitting. You were completely oblivious to the fact that your image, a blueprint for beauty, had just been burned indelibly into the memory of a shy engineer who would take months to muster the courage to ask you out.

Shortly after that, I distinctly remember doing something rare: telling my older brother (and roommate) about a beautiful girl I had seen in one of my classes. It's kind of funny; I didn't have much to tell. I didn't know your name. I didn't know where you were from. I hadn't yet even spoken to you. But somehow, you made an impression, and I couldn't help but share.

Months later, after you and I had been dating steadily for a while, my brother was lamenting one night. "Dating life stinks," he moaned, obviously indicating that he was weary of searching for Miss Right.

"I know," I replied, both feeling empathetic, and also expressing that I was tired of dating, and was ready to move our relationship to a more permanent level.

"What could you possibly have to complain about?" he responded. "You've got a gorgeous blonde. You're so lucky."

Boy was he right.

But not just because you are a gorgeous blonde. There are millions of attractive women out there in the world of every color (my brother eventually went head-over-heels for his own brunette Miss Right). But you still stand out in a crowd. There is something extra there, a sort of goodness and light that radiates from your very person, which is far rarer than just a pretty face.

The scriptures have a word for this: countenance.

The manifestation of countenance is somewhat of a paradox. It's something physical, which you can clearly see with your eyes; yet, it's such a subtle quality that it can only be fully discerned if you are looking for it. Countenance reveals a lot about what is going on inside a person, the light or darkness within; it's a kind of visible reflection of the state of the soul. And your countenance, on the day I first saw you and every day since, literally shines with light.

By the time we were married, I was starting to appreciate the sublime quality of your countenance. I wrote you a song about it and sang it on our wedding day, remember?

When I look into your eyes
And when I think about your smile
I know I love you

You know you're always on my mind
And I can feel all the time
How much I need you

But when I think of who you really are deep down inside
And when I look at what you've done to me I realize

That it's Beautiful
To have you in my life
You're Beautiful
And Heaven's in your eyes
So Beautiful
I'll never be the same

When I first beheld your face
I was taken by the grace
I saw surrounding you

But still I didn't really know
Why I longed within my soul
To be around you

Now I know it's so much more than smiles and pretty eyes
It's the beauty of your soul that makes me cry

And I know you're Beautiful
You're where I want to be
So Beautiful
And now I clearly see
How Beautiful
I'll never be the same

And I know that you're not perfect
But you're the perfect one for me
And I will give my heart forever
'Cause what you've given me

Is so Beautiful
I'll love you all my life
You're Wonderful
I'll keep you pure and bright
And Beautiful
I'll never, ever change

After ten years of marriage, we're both a little older now. Our years are catching up with us, just a bit. Our hair is developing a silver lining. We no longer fit into some of the clothes we did when we were first dating. But the supreme quality of your beauty has not diminshed one bit; it has only grown with every passing hour of every passing day. Your beauty is in your countenance, and your life has been such that it grows consistently brighter. That beauty is something you will take with you to the grave and beyond, into the eternities ahead, growing brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Today, when I look into your eyes, you're beautiful to me, a perfect ten; and that will never, ever change.


Brooke said...

Who knew I'd be over-the-hill and have silver lined hair at the ripe old age of almost 30! Just kidding. I am far from a beacon of light in any way, but I'm glad you can see my dim glow as you push aside the garbage I sometimes carry around. I'm glad that I can see your glow. It warms me, strengthens me and helps me have hope each day. I love you.

Jenny and Al said...

Matt, you make me cry. What more can I say?