A Love For The Ages
by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
I once heard a story about a lost love that survived a 60 year separation. And it was this single thing which makes me realize that when the love is true and right, there is nothing save death itself, that can mar its perfect beauty or cast it from our being! And it is this kind of love that we all should aspire to in our own relationship with the one we hold in our own heart. And when we think about it, wasn’t 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 written about just this perfect love with another human being?
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NET
If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I dole out all my goods, and if I deliver my body that I may boast but have not love, nothing I am profited. Love is long suffering, love is kind, it is not jealous, love does not boast, it is not inflated. It is not discourteous, it is not selfish, it is not irritable, it does not enumerate the evil. It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth It covers all things, it has faith for all things, it hopes in all things, it endures in all things. Love never falls in ruins; but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or tongues, they will cease; or knowledge, it will be superseded. For we know in part and we prophecy in part.
But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded. When I was an infant, I spoke as an infant, I reckoned as an infant; when I became [an adult], I abolished the things of the infant. For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known. But now remains faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Yes, love in all its wonder and grace can withstand all but our own censure….which is exactly what happens in the story I am about to share. You see, today, we are apt to stand up and shout our love from the mountain tops. We flee any attempts made to caution us. And sometimes this works to God’s plan for us. And sometimes it doesn’t! But still we fight for the right to have and to hold the one we choose for life. But not always! No, it wasn’t always so!!!!!!
Life once upon a time was lived by the plans and expectations of our elders. We married the mate chosen for us by another, and no opinion we could express would be tolerated. And surprisingly, many of these marriages lasted a lifetime. But not all. And it is those rare exceptions that we are drawn to today. You see, it is a story of love. But it is also a story of unconsummated love. But sometimes a love as strong as this can withstand the test of time. And it’s rekindling becomes more precious to us that any physical treasure we can amass!
Let me tell you what happened to Ted Forbes back in 1984.
While walking down a street in Chicago…Ted found a wallet. Being an honest Christian man he wanted to return it to its owner. So he opened it to look for identification. The wallet contained just $3.00. No driver’s license…no Social Security card…no pictures…nothing to indicate who owned the billfold.
Looking through the wallet a little more, Ted found and an old envelope. It was wrinkled and looked as if it had been carried there for years. The only part of the writing on the envelope that could be read was the return address.
To find more information, Ted opened the envelope, and to his surprise, the letter was dated June 6, 1924. The letter had been written nearly 60 years before. It was a “Dear John” letter. It was written to a man named Michael, and it was from a woman named Hannah.
She explained that though she loved him, and she would always love him, her parents had forbidden her to see him any more.
Ted Forbes wanted to locate the owner of the lost wallet. He drove to the location listed on the return address. He parked the car and walked up to the door.
A woman answered the door. Ted asked the lady if she knew a Michael or a Hannah. He was told that 30 years ago she had purchased the house from a family whose daughter was named Hannah. She said that Hannah had placed her mother in a nursing home just a few blocks down the street.
Ted drove down to the nursing home. He explained the story to the Nursing Supervisor. She told Ted that the lady he was trying to find had died. However, she gave him a telephone number where he might locate Hannah.
Calling that number he learned that Hannah was not living there anymore. The person answering the phone said Hannah was now in an apartment house for the elderly.
Ted began to wonder why he was making such a big deal out of an old, lost wallet which contained only $3.00 and a crumpled up old letter. But he decided to keep looking until he ran into a dead-end.
He finally tracked down Hannah and went to visit her at the elderly apartment house. She had an apartment on the 3rd Floor. Ted knocked on the door. A gray-haired, alert, bright-eyed lady with a warm smile on her face answered the door. Yes, it was Hannah Marshall.
Ted told her about finding the wallet and, showing her the letter, asked if she knew someone named Michael.
Hannah took the letter. Tears filled her eyes. She told Ted that the letter was the last contact she had with Michael. She said that she had never married because she never met anyone she loved as much as Michael. Then she asked Ted if, when he found Michael, he would tell him she still loved him and that she thought about him every day.
Ted thanked her and left. As he was walking down the apartment house hallway, he was carrying the wallet in his hand. The janitor saw the wallet and stopped Ted in the hallway. “Let me see that wallet.”
Ted handed it to him. “Why, that’s Mr. Goldstein’s wallet. I’d know it anywhere. He’s always losing it.” Ted asked where he could find Mr. Goldstein. The janitor said he lived in Apartment 6 on the 8th Floor.
So, Ted quickly made his way to the eighth floor. He found Apartment #6 and knocked on the door. Sure enough, an old man named Michael answered the door. Ted showed the wallet to the old man. He asked if it was his. Yes, it was. Ted admitted reading the letter to seek identification of the owner.
Mr. Goldstein asked, “You read it?” Then he told Ted that his life nearly ended many years ago when he lost Hannah. He had never married and had never stopped loving her.
Then Ted said, “Mr. Goldstein, I think I know where Hannah is.”
The old man became very excited. Ted simply took him by the hand, led him to the elevator and down to the third floor to Hannah Marshall’s apartment door.
When she opened the door, they looked at one another in disbelief. Michael Goldstein walked slowly to Hannah. He took her in his arms. And the 60-year separation evaporated in the warmth of their love.
About three weeks after Michael and Hannah were reunited, Ted got a call asking him to be their best man. They were to be married after years of separation.
It must have been some sight: a 79-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman acting like teenagers. A perfect ending to a tragic separation. They had every reason to celebrate.
story found in:
Sometimes it is good to put things we can never have behind us. Sometimes that is the only way we can go into the future ready to meet head on all of life’s wonders and mysteries and challenges that await our capture. But then again, sometimes the heart will always hold within what the heart wants. And what the heart wants, the heart must have…..one way or another! And no amount of interference by man can divide us from that. You see, sometimes the love that the heart holds was planted there by God himself, a mirroring of His perfect love for us. And there it remains, all according to the plan He has scripted for our lives. And as with many things in this world, miracles always seem to happen when we least expect them to!
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39 ESV
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