The night I was voted onto the planning board, the chairman took me aside and welcomed me. He was a relaxed fellow with an easy armchair manner.
“It’s like watching paint dry,” he shared. I nodded. A slow-moving venture; I liked the sound of that.
Yesterday, Michael held the car door open for me to get in, and then scraped the near-April snow from the windows and mirrors and windshield. He was wearing dress pants and cowboy boots and had agreed to come with me to church. This is the man who I reached out to fourteen years ago with the gospel. This is the man whose atheism challenged me to convert him. This is the man who I fell in love with, dashing all of my evangelical confidence. This is the man who made me recoil and stop sharing the good news; for fear that I was not a trustworthy vessel. And now this man is my dear husband, scraping snow off the car so we can go to church.
Has he been saved? Not to my knowledge. Yet twice in the last week I have witnessed him pulling out his phone and sharing scripture stories and trivia with those gathered around the table. Those listening to his readings are perplexed, thrilled, or a little turned off. His own father says with some sarcasm, “I think he’s going to fill in for the preacher up there,” signaling toward the church uptown.
I beam with a smile I cannot hide.
I look back on the years this story has taken to unfold and wonder if it has even begun yet. He gets in the driver seat and off we go. My head spins a little thinking of the first conversation we ever had about God. We arrive at the Catholic Church. The standing and sitting and standing and sitting don’t deter him. But the big surprise was the kneeling. The man knelt down like the rest of us.
This is a little more interesting than watching paint dry. Even if the pace is similar.