Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Being here  

I've been a fan of Steven Curtis Chapman ever since his first album, though I haven't kept up with his work in recent years. His I Will Be Here, from his third album, More To This Life, is my favorite love song. Here are the words:

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I, I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love
Hold my hand and have no fear
'Cause I, I will be here
I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to crying
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together
'Cause I will be here

Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I, I will be here
As sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
So I, I will be here
I will be here
You can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me

And just as sure as seasons are made for change
Our lifetimes are made for years
So I, I will be here
We'll be together
I will be here

When I first heard the song, the first verse held a great deal of appeal to me. I longed for an unshakable and intimate relationship with a woman. I wanted to commit myself to someone through good times and bad. I wanted to face life with a woman who would be my closest and dearest friend and lover so that we could share every part of ourselves and still feel secure. Before I was married, the first verse perfectly stated what I wanted in a marriage.

I've been married almost six years now, and I find that the second verse speaks to me more. Though the disappearance of the sun in the first verse is a powerful and poetic image, the unclear future of the second resonates to me as more true to life. My wife and I have grown older together and changed together and held onto each other through it all, never knowing what would come next, never knowing how we ourselves would change, much less the world around us. But we have grown and changed as individuals and as a couple, and it has been a joy.

I remember that on my wedding day I thought I would never see a sight more beautiful than the woman who stood before me in that chapel in the woods. I believed that with all my heart until the next day, when I was amazed to find that she had grown more beautiful overnight. I soon discovered that the more I knew her, the more beautiful she became, and now when I wake up in the morning I feel like I'll burst from sheer joy on seeing how her beauty grew while she slept.

The daily business of marriage, the personal and mutual growth, the uncertain future, and the constantly blossoming beauty all surpass the greatest expectations I had when all I wanted was just a lover more sure than the sun.