Wineskins Archive

January 23, 2014

To Honey (Sept-Oct 1993)

Filed under: — @ 4:05 pm and

by John McRay
September – October, 1993

I wrote this for Annette (“Honey” to the family and me) on May 29, 1989, just 10 days before my quadruple bypass surgery on June 9, our 32nd wedding anniversary, when I was not at all sure about the outcome. Through God’s gracious mercy, I made it through the surgery and have been able to continue my work, but not without the realization that such heartfelt emotions need to be expressed.

Honey, my Darling, my Beloved, my Life:

As I write this, my mind crowded with a million memories of our life together, all of them wonderful and precious, I want you to know how very much I love you, how very much I have always loved you. You have been everything to me that I could ever have wanted, more than I could ever have dared to dream, all that God would expect a wife to be.

Together we have climbed the hilltops, felt his presence, and known the joys of worshipping him in the beauty of his creation in so many places. The hilltops belong to us. Every time you see one, think of me, because, God willing, I will be thinking of you.

From the first time I saw you in the hallway at Lipscomb, with those blue eyes dancing, I have loved you. You are the most wonderful person, the finest Christian, I have ever known. It has been a privilege that few men have ever known to share 32 years of marriage to a woman who never once entertained a selfish thought or did a selfish deed. I don’t really know how to tell you how much you have meant to me every day I have lived, how I look forward every day to your footsteps in the house, your wonderful smile and radiant joy. Without it, life would have lost its meaning for me.

We have been best friends, loving parents, and doting grandparents. We have shared our love in a depth that most people could only envy. If God allows us to have memories of only the good things in life, I will spend eternity thinking of every moment I lived with you. I have loved you, perhaps not perfectly, but as completely as God has granted me the power to love. There has never been a day in my life since we married on June 9, 1957, that you were not in my thoughts. I have never wished for a moment that we were not married. I have tried to imagine what life would be like without you and the pain is so intense that I cannot bear it. I wonder if any man has ever loved his wife more than I love you, and if God be willing, I shall love you more deeply, even after death.

How do I love you? Let me count the ways. I love you for helping me make of the lumber of my life, not a tavern, but a temple. I love you for seeing in me something to love in spite of my selfish and arrogant ways. I love you for being the mother of the three finest sons in the world. They are the products of your love and sacrifice, not mine. I love you for the pain and total selflessness you experienced to bring them into the world and to give yourself to them during very difficult years when they were young and so close together.

I love you for supporting me and encouraging me when I tried to preach, for making me feel that I was a great preacher. I have always known that I was only mediocre but somehow it didn’t really matter when I saw you in the audience looking at me with such love and joy in your face. I guess that is why I never really like to go away from home and preach. I have always needed you by my side.

I don’t know whether I have told you how very proud I have always been to have you standing by my side. You make me feel 10 feet tall, and I have always felt like I had the wife everyone envied. I am sure that was true and still is.

Darling, I leave you very little of this world’s goods. I know you will rely on God, however, as we always have, and he will not fail you. Our boys will be a blessing to you. They love you, as do the girls, and will want you near them. They have been our investment for the future.

Please tell my precious grandchildren, when they are old enough to understand, how deeply Poobah loved them all. I only regret that I will not be able to see Barry and Sydney’s children. I know they will have one just like the one at the Jordan House in Jerusalem, with dark hair and eyes and a special smile for Pooh and Honey.

Tell my wonderful sons how much you know their father has always loved them and how very, very proud I have always been of them. Their achievements are remarkable and have only just begun. Please impress on them how much I love each one and how pleased I have been over the women they chose for their wives. Tell Judy, Joanie, and Sydney that I have loved them deeply and pray that they will have affectionate memories of Poohbah.

Well, Honey, I must finally say goodbye. You brought into my life a joy that can only be described as divine. King Lemuel had you in mind when he wrote: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28). I honor you and praise you as that “Worthy Woman.” I truly found the one of whom he wrote. Thank you for filling my life with His love, as well as your own.

I have had more joy than any one man deserves to experience in a lifetime. Such happiness is never easy to leave, but if it is His will that it not continue, I will say goodbye to you with the promise that your face will be the last thing I remember, and the confident hope that we will meet again at the eastern gate.

I love you beyond reason, beyond hope, and, God willing, beyond death.

JohnWineskins Magazine

John McRay

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