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The love between husband and wife must not be purely physical, nay, rather, it must be spiritual and heavenly. These two souls should be considered as one soul. How difficult it would be to divide a single soul! Nay, great would be the difficulty! In short, the foundation of the Kingdom of God is based upon harmony and love, oneness, relationship and union, not upon differences, especially between husband and wife… – Abdu’l-Baha, from a tablet to an individual Baha’i.
I met my soul mate during the turbulent year of 1967, in a challenging high school art class made easier by her interest in my wrestling clay creation:
“Wow, that looks cool. Wrestlers right?” she asked.
“Well my attempt at a wrestling stance, yes. How ’bout you? What are you workin’ on?”
I’m afraid to admit I remember no further.
But that short exchange laid the groundwork for our hanging out together during June’s monthly Ewing High dance. Escorting her to her friend’s VW bug, a peck on the cheek sealed something unforetold. Our relationship was as cemented as if we had each donned wedding rings at that moment; a flirtatious brush of lips leads to what would occur four years later almost to the day.
How can anyone prepare for love’s dart striking true?
In these planes, the nightingale of the heart hath other songs and secrets, which make the heart to stir and the soul to clamor, but this mystery of inner meaning may be whispered only from heart to heart, confided only from breast to breast. – Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 30.
We were fortunate that auspicious year to have met, solely by chance, yet solely by fate also. It must have been fate, because this grateful husband deeply appreciates God’s Grace, received that day and since:
Refresh my heart, O my God, with the living waters of Thy love and give me a draught, O my Master, from the chalice of Thy tender mercy. Let me abide, O my Lord, within the habitation of Thy glory, and suffer me, O my God, to emerge from the darkness in which Thy divine obscurity is shrouded. Enable me to partake of every good Thou hast vouchsafed unto Him Who is the Point and unto such as are the exponents of His Cause, and ordain for me that which beseemeth Thee and well becometh Thy station. Do Thou graciously forgive me for the things that I have wrought in Thy holy presence, and look not upon me with the glance of justice, but rather deliver me through Thy grace, treat me with Thy mercy and deal with me according to Thy bountiful favours, as is worthy of Thy glory. Thou art the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Glorious, the Bestower of favours and gifts, the Lord of grace abounding. Verily no God is there but Thee. Thou art the All-Possessing, the Most High. – The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 208.
Our outdoor wedding at Green Grove two years after that occurred on a sunny noontime with thirty guests, a few cold cuts and small chocolate icing cake, following our Baha’i vows to each other in the presence of friendly witnesses. Blessings without end, proved by our mutual felicities and the virtuous progeny, have showered all through our 48 years together. Certainly longer is hoped for, prepared for, in the next spirit realm.
Not my purpose here to tout one couple, but rather to share the basic underlying truth expressed by this anonymous author: “Tis ought better to proceed through life together than apart.”