Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
but how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Eccl. 4:9).
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! Today is a special day to remember because it is the anniversary of the day I married Thomas N. Schulz in Middlebrook Parlor at York College. I met my husband, Tom, at Monday night meetings at Abilene Christian College in April. I still remember his sermon: “going to the mission field two by two.” We married six months later at York College on October 19th. I never saw Tom in a tie until I walked down the aisle that night. Until that night I never saw him wear anything other than jeans, white T shirt and loafers. He looked pretty good in that T shirt, too. We never went to a movie until after we married. We did play miniature golf sometimes on Wednesday nights after church. He always won, except when he would let me win!
After Tom completed his master’s degree at ACC and we had spent a year with our sending-church in Phoenix, we went to the Netherlands and worked with a Dutch church for almost 15 years. Tom learned to wear a tie. When we went to Holland even “ditch diggers” wore ties with their work clothes!
We went to Holland with three small children and three years later adopted our Rachel. Except for the youngest, when we returned to the states our children were nearly all adults. They are the parents of my wonderful grandchildren. When we left the Netherlands, we went back to York College, where Tom occasionally wore a tie. He discovered clip-on ties and they often wound up clipped to his pocket.
What I remember today is a husband who can never be replaced in any way! The first thing I noticed about Tom the evening we met was his bible. It was worn…there were verses underlined…he had spent a lot of time reading and digesting the Word and he had only been a Christian three years. He wore out a lot of bibles in his life-time. How he loved the Word! When I got anxious or stressed, I would put my head in his lap and he would pick up his bible and would read out loud one chapter after another until I relaxed. Sometimes he or I would notice something we hadn’t noticed before and study for hours…looking up words in a lexicon or looking up things in a bible dictionary. I miss those times a lot.
The word to describe Tom would be the word, grace. He wrote his master’s thesis on that word. The root word for charis (grace) in classical Greek is beauty. Over time, the word began to describe the attributes of the King, later it described the King’s gifts, and still later, charis described the attitude of the one who received the gift – one of thankfulness. Tommy was a gracious man. He was a grateful person. He was also a romantic. He gave me flowers on every special occasion and he loved to hide them in places I wouldn’t go, so he could place them on the breakfast table before I got up. Surprise! He often sent me sweet notes. He made me feel like I was the most important person in his life. He was my best encourager. Tom took on all the attributes of grace in his personal life. I miss him, especially on days like today. I even miss his “grin and bear it” humor – the puns and the constant word plays.
Today is not a sad day. It is a day to thank God for the blessings of a good marriage and experiencing life with a godly man for 43 years. What does a person know when she is 18 years old? Not much! I knew I wanted to be a missionary, with or without a husband, but I prayed if God blessed me with a husband that he would help me get to heaven. God answered that prayer and more. He gave me a husband who often gave me a bit of heaven on earth.
George Eliot said it best:
-"What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel they are joined for life? To strengthen each other in all labor, to rest in each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting.