[forthright] The Wife of Your Youth

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 04:12:18 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel invites you to come visit 
his new, "Moving Word" blog. He will 
focus on helping us become writers. 
http://richardmansel.com/


COLUMN: LIVING THE FAITH

The Wife of Your Youth
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

The truck bounced as it left the highway and turned
onto the old, dusty path. Raymond still remembered the
way after so many years. You never forget the way home,
he thought.

As the dust danced around the truck, Raymond glanced
over at his friend, Glenn, and told him about the
Mulligan sisters who lived on the corner and the Masons
who worked the cornfield on the right.

The path opened up and an old, worn house appeared
before them. Raymond's heart filled with nostalgia.
Glenn glanced at his friend and saw he was somewhere
else, moving through time.

The truck rolled to a stop on the green grass.
Raymond's cousins still lived in the house, but they
were on a trip and had left him the key. He began to
relate the story of his home place to Glenn. Words
began multiplying as the normally stoic man painted a
portrait of another time.

Glenn spoke as Raymond grew silent. "I know this place
is still very special to you. It is a part of who you
are."

Raymond's wide grin said enough. "Yep. It is. We never
had much. My Daddy did the best he could. But, he died
and I had to keep the place going. I remember all of
the flaws and I see them now. The repairs that need to
be done."

"Ray, I expect none of those flaws matter much now that
you are back home."

"Nope, they don't. Memories cover them."

They walked to the back, where an old swing still hung,
blowing in the breeze. They sat down, enjoying the
gorgeous day. They continued to talk about old times.
Raymond felt the place becoming more familiar as the
conversation continued.

"Raymond, I'm thrilled you were able to come here
today. Thank you for letting me share the moment. What
would you do if you moved back here?"

"I'd be very relaxed here and do the repairs needed and
restore it to what I remember. It's all still here. It
just needs love, patience and care."

Glenn remained silent for a few moments. "We never
forget where we spent our youth. We remember the good
and the bad, but as you said, memories cover them. I
love that statement and I'm impressed with your
insight."

"Raymond, when we began talking about where you came
from, I hoped we could make this trip because there is
a great lesson in this experience that I think you are
ready to hear."

Raymond smiled. "What's that, Glenn? You gonna preach
to me now?"

"No, just share something with you. For the past few
weeks, we've been talking about your desire to leave
Brenda after decades of marriage. You then come here
and see where you spent your youth and you are filled
with nostalgia and wish you could return and rebuild
now that you are older."

Glenn stood up and leaned against the old fence, so he
could face his friend.

"Ray, Brenda is the wife of your youth just like this
house is. She is special in that way and she charts
your past. Sure, she has flaws but memories can cover
them. Why don't you return and rebuild what you once
had with her. Solomon said, 'Let your fountain be
blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.'"/1

Raymond's eyes were on the fields and he spoke softly.
"Yeah, I guess that makes sense."

As they stood up to continue their tour and discussion,
Raymond began formulating a plan to rebuild his
marriage with the special woman who had walked with him
as a young man. Memories did make a difference. 
_______
1/ Proverbs 5:18, NKJV 

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