In December of 1972 on the pier on a tributary of Lake Houston beside a gingerbread house on Moonshine Hill Road in Humble, Texas I asked Dorothy to marry me. The memory of that day is as vivid now as is captured in this photograph of us in our early 20s. The start of an adventure in marriage which began on May 20, 1972.
I have made many choices in my life. Some good. Some bad. But of those choices, asking her to marry me was the best one I ever made. That day we did not have much luck with fishing. Yet, I made the best catch of all. Dorothy.
There is no doubt that God brought us together. Nor any doubt that we were meant to be husband and wife for life, for love, forever.
Like many of you, when I was a teenager and a young college student, I yearned to be loved. But I was different. Because of my faith, I felt deep down that I was special and was worthy to be loved. However, I was afraid that I would never meet a girl who could see me as a future husband.
Whether disabled or not, most of us are uncomfortable with how we look. To tall. Too short. Too heavy. To thin. To fair or dark skinned. Too freckled. Hair too straight. Too curly. Then, there was the curse of pimples in high school! If only we could find a cave to crawl into and to come out of and look gorgeous or handsome. The object of true love’s desire.
Before I met Dorothy, I asked myself who could really be attracted to me. Scoliosis. Legs and shoulders of different lengths. Steel rods in my back. Orthopedic shoes. The scars on my hands, back, right-upper leg and both ankles. Unable to do so much for myself. So dependent. Someone to be more cared for than to be a caregiver.
Jesus’s first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana 2000 years ago. Beginning in 1972 Dorothy’s love has been a Holy miracle of biblical proportions for me. For all those limitations, differences, and weaknesses have been healed by God’s love for me through her.
God gave me many talents. But, the best part of me is Dorothy.
I may never be the President of the United States, the Governor of Texas, a billionaire like Warren Buffett, a professional athlete or win the Pulitzer Prize for writing a book or getting a Grammy for writing a song. But, in Dorothy I am the richest husband on Earth.
I love 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) so much so that it is on the cover of my book Prayerful Passages. The quote many of you know by heart is:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
This week I celebrated another wedding anniversary. Another dozen roses, yellow this year. I kissed my blushing bride. I hope you do the same to your spouse.
With Dorothy’s help as my conscience, as my typist in law school at the University of Texas, and as my paralegal for more than 40 years, I have now the best me I have ever been. The best family law attorney I can be in serving others in trouble marriages. In Dorothy and in my work with divorcing couples I am blessed to witness every day examples of what it takes to have a good marriage, to keep it strong and to love ever more deeply.
Today, God I pray that You lead others to find their true loves. That in the sacrament of marriage unconditional love for one another be found. That in that miraculous love all married persons are healed as I have been healed just as You transformed water into wine at a wedding long long ago at Cana in Galilee.
God, I pray that You help each of us recognize the angels You send our way just as You helped me at age 23 see Dorothy for what she was and who she is….an angel, a living messenger of Your love for me. Amen
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If you want to purchase for yourself or a friend a copy of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love or Prayerful Passages: Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation or Divorce, please click on here to go to Amazon.
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.