Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Conversation . . . How Did We Get To Here? (Peter A. Black)

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Quite often when sitting down to a meal my mental wheels begin to grind along with my teeth and I muse about one matter or another. My Beloved isn’t so keen at such times to put up with my ponderings about current affairs, national concerns and international tensions. She’s especially disinclined to get drawn into theological discussion. “Why can’t we just eat and enjoy our meal without all that serious stuff?” she’ll say.             

One morning recently we were doing that, enjoying breakfast and chatting ‘light-duty’ about ordinary things. Somewhere in course of conversation I slid into serious talk about life, delving decades back, recalling my approach to romance as a young adult.

I was interested in good looks, so attractive appearance played a part. Qualities I’d hope for in a girl included pleasant personality and her holding certain interests in common with me, as well as sharing an active Christian faith. (My wife of almost fifty years sat there, yet amazingly didn’t try to get me off this historical, serious stuff!)

She listened (perhaps politely humouring me), even as I shared how the things I’d valued in a potential life-partner had begun to change. (I wasn’t quite twenty years old at the time!) Did I still hope for those qualities? Physically attractive features? – Yes. Friendly, engaging personality? – Yes. Common interests? – Yes. Committed Christian girl who loves God and trusts in Jesus? – Yes, definitely. These still featured firmly in the desirable mix.

Ca. 51 years ago. Where does the time go?
Breakfast was almost over, yet we (mostly I) chatted on. I mentioned that before we met several specific factors became really important to me. For example: Character . . . character that evidenced wholesome values and a lifestyle that demonstrated them – honesty, diligence, practicality, spirituality, wisdom and grace.
I hadn’t made a list, but harking back I realised that these things and more featured on my radar of hoped-for qualities. (Admitted, I might sound like an arrogant jerk, since in my senior years I’m still no paragon of virtuous maturity; but still she listened.)

My Beloved and I first noticed each other in 1964 in a crowded auditorium – a church youth event. Some friends and I were guest speakers and musicians. I made a point of getting acquainted with her and that led initially to several group event dates.

She was pretty. She laughed and smiled and appeared at ease among her friends, and when engaging with me in conversation I detected a hint of shyness; even that seemed attractive.
Several years ago.
But those other desirable character qualities and values – were they active in her life? During this breakfast conversation, almost 52 years after our meeting, I said, “And that’s what I saw the very first time I was in your home; I saw those qualities in you.” Right then as I told her that, I felt an emotional tug at the corners of my mouth, my eye-rims moistening, and yet I managed to pull a wide grin.

She smiled too, perhaps bemused; maybe slightly uncomfortable. Laughing at the situation, I asked what we’d been talking about that got me onto this candid reminiscence. How did we get to here? Brain-scratching pause . . . Oh – we’d been chatting about neighbours who’d moved away that week, on a sweltering hot sticky day!                    

The non-air-conditioned truck was finally loaded, and May had invited the weary, perspiring family and a couple of helping friends over for lunch and dessert, before they headed out on their five-hour journey. They came and we enjoyed a lovely time of fellowship around the table.
That was quite a circuitous conversational route, yet May’s special qualities featured in our journey.

They still do!

~ Raise Your Gaze ... Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart 

~ Parables from the Pond



Glynis said...

How absolutely charming and sweet this post is, Peter. You are admittedly a smooth talking, man who knew exactly what you wanted. You are blessed to have found May (she sure is a beauty - and you're kind of a cool looking dude yourself! Love that flashback photo of you two!)
And your commentary on her kindness and good character is a wonderful story. Love the way God makes these happy ever afters, don't you?

Peter Black said...

Thank you for your kind words, Glynis. But smooth talking, eh?
Hmm, the old proverb says to "meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips" (Prov. 20:19b KJV). But May didn't know that one way back then. We've been muddling along and maybe meddling too, ever since. But through it all we're grateful for God's mercy and grace. :) ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Peter, I always enjoy your posts even if I'm late to comment. Endearing and honest.

Peter Black said...

Thanks Carolyn. That's kind. I enjoy yours too, and I commented on your latest post moments ago. ~~+~~

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