|(Photo by Tara Gourley)|
Let us be poor. There are many things I can learn to do without … I don't want you to become one of them. Let's go to the library instead of the movies. You won't have to tolerate my chick flicks, I won't have to endure your action movies – we'll each grab a thick book and enjoy each other. I swear to you, I don't need a dishwasher. Let me wash them, you can dry. I cannot promise there won't be soap bubble fights, but something tells me that would be a sad thing to promise. Let's stay up late to watch the stars and the meteors. I'll borrow your jacket and hold you close.
You'll have to teach me to understand sports. The upside of this is that I'll like whatever teams you like. We'll cheer for the same touchdowns and home runs. I don't mind, so long as you let me sit next to you. And when we turn off the television, turn down the radio, or leave the cheering bleachers … talk to me about God, about life, about beauty. Let us not waste our car rides being silent. Let our conversations be real, genuine, thought-provoking, challenging, and godly. May we never spend an evening vegetating in front of a glaring screen, simply because we had nothing better to do with our time. Boredom is a disease, not an occurrence.
Take me on long walks. If we have a pet, let's take them too. I understand this might mean I'll find myself walking through a park carrying a goldfish, but that actually sounds fun to me. I'll take pictures of you, of the fish, of the nature. Let's take Polaroids, yes? And some digital ones, too. I'll save your smile as my background, my lock screen, my wallpaper – all of it. Let's always smile with our teeth showing. We'll show the world what happiness looks like.
I'll wake you up before dawn. Feel free to yawn groggily as I drag you outside. We'll watch the sunrise together, you and I. Then we'll go inside – I'll grab the coffee (and hot tea for me), you'll bring the Bibles, and we'll head back out, to seek our Maker in the morning light. Please say you'll let me rest my head on your shoulder. I'll let you touch my face. I usually don't let people do that, but I think I wouldn't mind if it was you.
Let's bring up babies. Lots of them. I want to have an aching heart for all the right reasons. I'll homeschool them, maybe. Teach them how to live, by living right alongside them. I hope you're good at math and science … if not, we could pick up books at that library, and we'll learn together. Then we'll teach them. We'll show them what love looks like, too. Let's promise forever; that no matter what happens, we'll stay together through good times and bad. Let's teach those littles about Narnia, teach them about Twister, about art, stars, priorities, dreams, hopes, Nutella, and whatever they ask and we know. And let's hug after the hard days. I'll mess up for sure, and I'll need you.
Let's plant a garden. Let's fill our yard with all things lovely, delicious, and useful. Do you know how to make daisy crowns? I don't, but I want to learn. I would rather be adorned with flowers than with jewels. I'll put them in vases as well, and each windowsill will be cheery.
Let's go places together. Like the world is a scavenger hunt and the prizes are adventure and memories. I want to hear an orchestra play, walk through a museum, visit unknown pizza places, thrift shop, watch a play, go to our friends' houses … with you. Let's bake cookies. Let's give up and eat at McDonald's. Let's play with each other's hair until we both nigh go mad. Let's blow bubbles. Let's have snowball fights. Let's hold hands.
Let us be poor, so that we can be rich. I'd rather see more of you and less of a paycheck. If it's hard to make ends meet, I promise I will love you no less. We'll read books aloud to each other over the sound of babies playing. If we find ourselves with money to spare, let's trust God, and do without it. Let's feed the hungry, free the slave, adopt the orphan. Maybe two. Foster care? Sign me up. Let's fight to make a difference together; to make sure one more (or 100 more – who knows?) child knows they are wanted. Let us live in such a manner that no one who knows us feels unloved. If there are no electronic screens in our house, and we have love, we are rich. If we don't have the latest fashions in our closets, but we have a house full of babies that love the Lord, we are the wealthiest of people.
Let us be still in our pajamas at dinnertime, let us have no chores done yet, let us be dirty, let us be poor … but let us have love.