That line, from Robert Redford in the movie Out of Africa, is the best way I can explain how I feel today as Laura and I celebrate 10 years of marriage. Laura, you have ruined it for me as well…the being alone.
Redford in the movie played the carefree African big-game hunter Denys. Tied to no one or any one place, his character found himself falling deeper and deeper in love with the movie’s lead character Karen Blixen, played by Meryl Streep. Every time he left her, the leaving became harder and harder. The hunter fought hard to combat his feelings, but eventually realized his life of being alone no longer was worth the price of loneliness.
In my life, I have enjoyed being alone at times, but I never liked being lonely. Even when I was with someone from my past, I have been lonely. During times of professional and personal challenge, being alone meant I could be lost in my thoughts and prayers. I would ride my bicycle for miles or walk a golf course in solitude. As the miles mounted or between golf shots, I carried on a rambling discourse with my Savior. His ceaseless grace and mercy soothed my soul and gave me strength until the right job and the right woman came to me freely as His gift.
Ten years ago, Laura filled my life. Loneliness flew away like the Redford character did in his bi-plane. No longer do I rail against loneliness because a woman of God has shown me love in an exhilarating new way.
Loneliness is long gone, replaced now by ruin. Now, being alone means hours wasted not being with Laura. While I still ride many miles by myself and still carry on my discourse with my Savior, it is only because Laura cannot join me. Every time we part, the alone is just not that satisfying.
Tonight, as we celebrate, I will raise a toast to Laura and a thankful prayer to my Savior for the welcomed ruination of my life. I love you, Laura. May the Lord bless and keep us in ruin for many more years.