God’s best gift to me (excepting salvation) was born on this day. What a gift! Mere words could never communicate my gratitude and joy at being married to this woman. Thanks be to God, and thanks be to Jillian Ashley Hamilton for marrying me.
On this day I think of the little book put together by Michael A. G. Haykin withVictoria J. Haykin, The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers. When Dr. Haykin so kindly gave me a copy of this book, I was surprised by what I found. I expected the kind of romantic expressions one finds in poems like Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” or in the culture at large–glorifying the beauty of the beloved or professing (idolatrous?) devotion to another human . . . To my surprise, this book is full of Christian lovers praising God and spurring one another on to love and good deeds. In The Christian Lover one sees that human love is most fitly expressed by those devoted to Christ and his kingdom.
I commend this book to you, and in its spirit I attempt a literary tribute to my sweet wife. This effort seeks to turn Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty” from a focus on superficial beauty to that which is true and lasting.
This adaptation of “She Walks in Beauty” is for my sweet Jill on her birthday.
She walks in beauty, like the Christ
Of servant love and laid down life;
And all her own is sacrificed
For those she loves, O noble wife!
With others’ joy she is sufficed
And so with peace and hope is rife.
The children know her love for them,
And deep is their security;
Her husband knows her love for him
How blessed am I, that I am he!
In season she does bear and blossom,
By water streams, a God-planted tree.
Thus wizened by the Lord’s own ways,
The shallows she does all deny,
And I will sing for all my days,
And glory, laud, and honor cry –
To God I give my thanks and praise,
For she is mine and hers am I.
June 16, 2010
Happy Birthday, sweet Jill