Four weeks ago, Tom and I went out for dinner, and afterwards, we happened to pass a jewelry store about 45 minutes before it was closing. Tom suggested we go in and look around. The manager, who was behind the counter with not much to do, turned out to be a Christian.
We began a conversation with her, and she told us about her church and her job. She asked what we were looking for, and Tom told her we were just there to look around. We explained to her that my wedding band which had had unique engravings on it, was damaged badly , along with my engagement ring, when both had been cut off quickly years before during a medical emergency. He told her that we had been wanting to have the engagement stones reset in a different setting for some time. I had been wearing a plain gold band for 12 years. We looked at many beautiful rings, but after a while, they all looked the same to me. But as Tom and the manager continued to talk, I suddenly stopped listening, because I had spotted the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.
I am not a jewelry person and never have been, but I had to admire this one because something about it stood out from the others. It was gorgeous. I was thinking about resetting my original stones in a similar, but more modest setting. I tried it on and spent a moment just looking at it sparkling in the light. “Do you really like it?” Tom asked. I told him I absolutely did—I knew a similar design could be done by a jeweler with my original stones. I reluctantly handed the ring back to the clerk and made mental notes on how it was constructed. That was the exact design I wanted.
It was now almost closing time, and the other two store employees came over and started chatting with us as well. We got on the subject of how Tom and I had met and gotten married, and we were surprised to see tears came down the manager’s face when we told the story of what God had done in our lives. The other employees then started talking about their wives and children, and we told them about our adoptions. Then Tom turned to the manager and said, “We’ll take the ring.”
I stared at him in disbelief! He just smiled back with those twinkly eyes. The two male employees demanded that he propose once again, and so there, with a lot of laughing going on and even a cell phone photo being taken, Tom asked me to marry him, again, and he put the ring on my finger after I said…yes!
By this time, the store was closed but everyone stood around and talked like we’d known each other for years. We got a cell phone picture of us with the Christian store manager. She told us that the Lord had used us to encourage her that night because of Tom’s unexpected act of love. I’m not sure how it all happened, but it was a joyful, surprise evening that began in such a mundane way.
Gentlemen who happen to read this post, you don’t have to buy new rings or do anything expensive, but take it from one smitten wife: unexpected acts of love and kindness do amazing things to the heart of a wife. (And ladies, I’ll write a post soon about ways we can bless our husbands, as well.) So if you wondered why the pink heart appeared on the Hope Blog a few weeks ago in the right-hand margin, you now know why! ;-)
The photo above is a print of Hugh Riviere’s painting, The Garden of Eden, and a copy hangs in a prominent place in our home. The focal point in the painting is the woman’s face as she looks at her shabby, but beloved man as they walk in the dreary rain. Her face glows because she is with the person she loves above all else. That love transforms the sodden, gray park into her Garden of Eden. That’s what love does. The difficult and dreary things in life aren’t nearly so bad when real love is there.