Thursday, August 23, 2007

Guest Poet: Gloria Gaither

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us . . .”
~ Ephesians 5:1,2a (NASB)


By Gloria Gaither
Copyright © 1977 Gloria Gaither.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Does love have a beginning that a meeting’s measured by?
Does it happen in a moment like white lightening from the sky?
Can you tell me its dimensions – just this wide and just this high?
When did I start to love you?

Tell me just how many dates it takes for love to really start?
And just how many kisses will turn “love” into an art?
When does the magic moment come to give away your heart?
When did I start to love you?

Was the day we talked of Browning the beginning of it all?
Or the time we walked the meadow and fields of corn so tall
That we felt like naughty children hiding from their mother’s call?
When did I start to love you?

I remember just how timidly your first new song you shared –
And by the way you grinned I knew you were glad you dared
Although my evaluation wasn’t worth much, still you cared.
When did I start to love you?

Was it when I went to meet you in a gown of snowy white?
Was it when we signed the license and drove off into the night?
Was it when I gave myself to you and felt that it was right?
When did I start to love you?

When I feared you wouldn’t love me if you knew how I’d been wrong,
And I spent a week in mis’ry, but you’d known it all along –
And you loved me ‘cause you love me, and not because I’m strong?
Was it then I came to love you?

Was it when we knew for certain ‘bout the baby on the way?
Did it start the day you told me I looked pretty – shaped that way?
Or did something special happen as we waited that last day…
When did I start to love you?

Did it happen when we held her in our arms for the first time?
Was it later when I nursed her, this creation – yours and mine?
And I knew compared to what we held the world’s not worth a dime!
When did I start to love you?

There were nights we stayed and prayed by babies, fevers burning hot
When we really didn’t know if they would make it through or not –
Then we’d face the dawn’s beginning, thanking God for what we’ve got –
When did I start to love you?

Was it rushing to the clinic with a bone in Amy’s throat?
Was it nights you saw me shivering and wrapped me in your coat?
Was it when I cleaned your bureau drawer, and found you’d saved my note?
When did I start to love you?

Was it when I saw you showing Benji how to be a man?
How to sheath his strength in meekness, how to gently take a stand –
How that only strength of character can salvage this old land?
When did I start to love you?

When you held me close in silence, when there were no words for grief–
When the line of empty caskets gaped at all I called belief –
When the “amen” was so final, I had you, and dared to leave –
Was it then I came to love you?

What is this stuff love’s made of that can cause the world to glow?
Is it that you made the segments that I brought you, well and whole?
Was it when I came to recognize the poet in your soul?
That I began to love you?

It’s not of lace and chocolate that valentines are made –
All such things are lovely but disintegrate and fade –
But love – when once it grows to be – is richer far than jade –
I only know – I love you!

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
~ II Peter 1:5-8