Band of Gold

The ring surrounds my finger - hugs tight close to the skin. It has been part of me for nearly ten years, weighting the digit, my hand feeling exposed without it. He chose it for me, not for another woman. When he looked at the stone and selected the setting he knew it was my hand it would sit on, my hand it would grace, my hand it would adorn. It was my ring before he ever slipped it over the knuckle, before I ever said "yes".
The ring is a symbol of the covenant made, the covenant lived out. I am his and he is mine, forever. We said our vows that day, breathed them into the hot July air as our promise to each other and to God. The two became one.
Our love has been refined like gold over those years. Marriage is not what I expected when I first said the vows. I didn't understand my own selfishness, how it would wreck havoc in our home. I didn't account for the scarring of the past and the impact that would have on my husband. I have raged internally at my own disappointments, expectations unmet, and at my own failings. Marriage was not the bed of roses I had anticipated, and in fact, if I had thought about it longer, I would have realized that a bed of roses is full of thorns. I felt the pricks of misunderstandings, the blood drawing slowly to the surface, pooling on the skin until the viscosity could hold no longer and it would leave a red river across the flesh. I saw those blood-rivers across my husband as my tongue lashed out in impatience and hurt. Yet we were still one flesh, attacking our own, that's why the wounds hurt so badly. I would see the blood on his skin and feel it on mine.
I look at the band of gold embracing my finger. It was metal full of dross before it was purified in the fire. In the same way we walk through our own fires to remove everything that is not love.
As we lay together at the end of the day and I bury my head into his chest I remember that in Eden we were one, before there was ever two (Gen 2:20-24). I like that "rib spot" on my husband and I think that's why. That's where woman came from and where I still go to for comfort. The beauty of oneness is always there in marriage, often overlooked, but waiting to be discovered.


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