Was THAT Honorable?


I had occasion to be in a new hardware store recently looking for an unusual faucet configuration.  I was assisted by Ruth.  She was quite young, diminutive and demure – not the stereotypical plumbing expert.

She did however, manage to find a faucet that met all my desires, a remarkable achievement for any sales person.

As she rang up the order in the old-fashioned hardware store, I noticed her wedding ring.  It could hardly be called a wedding band, since it was so skimpy as to be barely more than a piece of wire.  If I shook hands with her and gave her a manly grip, it would squash it out of round.

And the “rock” wouldn’t even qualify as a pebble.  I can’t say as I have ever seen a diamond that tiny in all my life.

Everything about Ruth said she was a lovely girl, a wonderful catch.  She walked with a quiet dignity in a man’s world, not trying to compete yet holding her own well.  She gave evidence of having depth in other areas and had a gentle, reassuring smile.   Her husband married a treasure.

I wonder what he thought when he looked at that ring on her finger.  How much did it grieve him that this was all he could afford?  How much did it grate on him that his bride had to work in a rough environment for them to make ends meet?  Did he feel like less of a man when looking at other brides who flashed a bigger rock on their finger?

Who knows?

I just know that I honor him immensely, sight unseen, for two things.  The first is he risked big because he believed in himself and his dreams.   Clearly it was a risk for them to begin marriage so young, so broke.  But . . . he did.  I like him for that.

I am not encouraging every young person to go out and get married thoughtlessly.  I am simply saying that I know ten thousand people who have a dream and they are not moving on it because there are major risks involved, and they are waiting for  better time, a better team, a better something, and will probably still be waiting when their opportunity is over.

Against that backdrop, it was refreshing to find someone who surely bucked the advice of the people around them and embraced risk to follow his dream.  I wish I could meet him.

Second, I appreciate the fact that he did not violate principles at the foundation of pursuing his dream simply because doing it right was hard.  I am sure both of them have a lot of peers who just moved in with each other, instead of getting married.

I attract dreamers – mostly frustrated ones.  The stories all run together after a while in a grievous sameness.   “God called me to . . . but . . .” and time after time, a few questions lead us back to crippling choices years ago that have never been acknowledged or corrected.

Ruth and her husband won’t have that crippling ball and chain of one wrong principle choice that holds them back.

I’ve never met Ruth’s husband, but I think the world of him.  I think he is a highly honorable man.

Copyright November 2012 by Arthur Burk

Airborne over Bryan Texas, home bound

This entry was posted in Beauty, Perspectives, Whimsical Observations. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Was THAT Honorable?

  1. Recently I was reading a book that used some business statistics to show that highly successful companies did not have bigger runs of “good luck” or smaller runs of “bad luck” than the considerably less successful companies to which they were compared. What made the difference is what they did with what they had. They were ready when a big break came and they wisely leveraged even the hardest circumstances. If they couldn’t get $100 out of a day they at least got a nickel. That is such a critical attitude to have, since it’s our decisions that pave the way for growth or disaster. Our partnering with God on the $100 AND nickel days. I am sure the husband of a woman like Ruth would have loved to give her something of beauty and elegance. I join you in honoring him because it seems he did what he could with the best that they had, and in so doing, proved himself a bigger man than those who sit around and wait for their “luck” to change.

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  2. Rebekah Scott says:

    Wouldn’t it be fun if everyone who read this post released a blessing upon Ruth and her husband. I wonder what kind of lurch would occure in their lives?

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  3. Rosa says:

    You do kow how to weave a story. I love this.

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  4. Victoria Kayser says:

    It takes incredible insight and time to ponder this persons life, to see this far “into and behind” Ruth’s life. Thank you for sharing this Arthur. This makes me think.

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  5. barbarawall says:

    Arthur, when I read this I cried because it sparked in me someone I am personally attracted to today in much the same way as you are mentioning above. I have never met the woman I wish to honour, but her deeds speak far beyond the little hospital room she is in. She and her 8 month old have been in the periphery of my prayer life on and off in these last 8 months even though I’ve never met her and she’s not in my circle of life. Yesterday, it was her tenacious spirit that was more beautiful and rare that caught my attention. It has drawn me in like a wildly effective lasso. It’s like God is saying, “Hey, look here. See this. This is true beauty, and I’m taken with it. Surround her as I am.” I have been wrapping my arms around her as she wraps hers around her baby since I read about her urgent comments today. She is the mother of this little child and has been battling for her life over the last 8 months with many complications in NICU. Yesterday, the nurses were attempting to remove her baby’s pic line because the picture looked very grim and survival would be miraculous. The mom graciously and firmly stated that “this (action) would not be in the best interest of her daughter”. The medical person replied it would not be in the best interests (of the hospital) to leave it in. Even though she knew she was not making friends in the medical community which was supposed to be there to help her, she resolutely stood there and contended for her daughter’s life and did not allow the removal of her daughter’s pic line. It was courage on a monumental scale, yet was performed with more dignity (and transformational beauty) than I have seen in a long time. It was the way she did it that drew me. There was no anger. No arguing. No self-absorbed and pitying behaviour. To be beautiful is a rare thing indeed. It is something that is never flaunted, more or less revealed in sundry situations because it has already been developed over time. I could imagine how exhausted she must’ve been in her physical state, not to mention the emotions that are raw when you think you are losing someone you have fought so hard to see alive…To be secure in the steps you are to take, to be calm and in authority, all the while being desperately vulnerable in the asking. This child is in an environment of deep faith, sandwiched in between with fearless love and hope that does not disappoint. Without even knowing her or her mother, this beauty has moved me to intercede and to give to it… may that kind of fearless love be honoured on earth as much as it is in heaven and move everything that does not serve it.

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    • judi viglianti says:

      “to be beautiful is a rare thing indeed”””….”fearless love and hope that does not disappoint”. I could not think of sweeter words that I would love to raise our daughters with. Thank you for your lovely story. I will join you before our King

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      • barbarawall says:

        Dear Judi…Thankyou! Today is a critical day of decision for this family and their little baby (Hope). She has HLHS (hypoplastic left heart syndrome) and still between a rock and a hard place on her journey. Her parents are weary but still moving into the next big place of more decisions with a number of specialists as long as your arm this afternoon. Knowing that this family’s preferences have not been favoured by the medical staff is perhaps one of but not the only thing they will need to face on a larger scale. May God give your spirit freedom to intercede in ways you have not yet experienced and may your honour beget honour.

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  6. Irina Rivera says:

    At first, I thought you were going to question the man’s honor because the ring was so “feeble”. I was thinking that you wanted to tell him what a treasure he had in Ruth and he should honor her better. Instead, you looked at her ring and saw honor. I am ashamed of my quick negative take. This perspective is so much more true. I relate because my favorite ring is my engagement ring. It’s small and seemingly unimpressive. But I love it because my husband wasn’t making a lot of money and yet he loved me so much, he wanted us to marry, not live together to see if it would work out. I wouldn’t trade this ring for anything because of what it symbolizes. It was exactly what I had hoped for.

    You inspire me to grow in my perspective. Ruth is a blessed woman.

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  7. Jim Alseth says:

    Bang on Arthur. You took the words right out of my mouth, as the saying goes.

    Just yesterday, I walked in to my dept. from the parking lot with a professional women I work with, whose marriage i knew had disintegrated some time ago. Before long I was hearing how she and her kids had moved in with her boyfriend.

    This is so commonplace, it’s tragic. Over and over again decisions are made like this and people wonder why their lives are covered with more darkness than light…

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    • desireewoody says:

      I am finding more and more, even in “Christian” circles, that older married couples are “advising” youngsters it’s “wise” to move in together and try it out to see if they are truly a good match before marrying. They would argue: “After all, marriage is forever. Why would you marry someone you haven’t proven yourself sexually compatable with?” If Arthur constructed Ruth’s story correctly by observing the ring…this makes her husband’s actions even more admirable! God created marriage. We ought to listen to How he says to do it!

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