Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wife Rule #71: She's a Rock

My wife is asleep on the couch while I'm writing this Wife Rule. It's late at night and she's right: I should be getting ready for bed instead. Once again, her practicality illuminates my illogicality.

When I sang with my church's signature choir, I came to feel that the lyrics of one song in particular kind of reminded me of my life:

My life goes on in endless song
above Earth's lamentation.
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

I am by nature a passionate person who finds great satisfaction in constant creative expression. Amidst the countless lamentable situations of life, there is always beauty and hope, however far in the distance, springing from whatever gifts life has in store.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

Such poetic, passionate words do resonate in my soul. There is so much to say, so much to echo back to the world. Through whatever difficulties I must pass, I always have my faith and my family, two supernal gifts that provide endless music, endless reasons to hope. How can I keep from singing, from celebrating the goodness in my life?

I find expressive outlets for my passion in music, in art, and in words, including these Wife Rules. My wife married a sentimental, strange man.

Passion is not all love poems and roses, however. My emotions, like most strong-willed things, have an untamed side that occasionally rears its head. My wife knows me well enough by now to patiently roll her eyes when I lean a little to the extreme during one of my rants. She is wise enough to wait for me to get down off the soapbox I sometimes climb on before injecting a little dose of devil's advocacy, or alternate interpretations of events, or the sometimes needed reality-check. She knows me, she understands me, and best of all, she loves me.

She is a rock to me.

Those of you who have been with your spouses far longer than me probably chuckle when I admit this, but after ten years together, I thought I pretty much knew my wife. But life has a way of throwing new curve balls at us that reveal ever more of the stuff our souls are full of, called character. And my wife is absolutely stuffed with the stuff.

Certain events in our lives have underscored to me just how steady and rock-like she really is. When life gets hard, I'm tough. But when life gets harder, I have a tendency to lose faith and wring my hands and exhaust my energies in some very helpful (I have not doubt) worrying. My life's endless song continues on, but all switched around in a minor key, like the Mickey Mousketeer anthem turned into a funeral dirge.

Not my wife. I have literally been stunned as I have watched things that should have sent her into a tailspin bounce off her wings like minor turbulence. At the time when I'm prone to start announcing orders to grab your chute and bail out, she is casually flipping on the "Fasten Safety Belts" lights. She is steady beyond my understanding.

Such steadiness is not something that I noticed right away. It's not what first attracted me to her. I don't recall saying to her during courtship, "You're smart, you're beautiful, and your uncanny tendency to remain calm during times of great duress really leaves an impression on my fluttering heart."

No, her steady, solid footing in life is one of those subtle yet sublime qualities that is woven into the very fabric of her soul; something that I have only come to appreciate when stress is applied to that fabric. But now I know it is there, and I am grateful for it.

Don't get me wrong; my wife is not perfect. There have been times when I have served as the steadying force in her life, too. But if she were keeping score (which she most assuredly isn't), she would notice that the Saving-Spouse tally would lean heavily to her side. She saves my passionate, overly-anxious caboose time and time again.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
while to that Rock I'm clinging
Since Love is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

As I finish writing this rule, my steadfast rock of a wife slumbers lightly beside me in the room. It's late, and we should be in bed. But despite this fact, she stays out here for me; she knows I love her presence. Even if I'm not directly interacting with her, she's still here for me, comforting me, steadying me.

My Love.

My Rock.

My Wife.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Oh my dear, if you only knew how often you have steadied me and saved me, and most of all, kept me singing. I love you.