Stopped by a Smile



He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.

Proverbs 18:22

A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31

At that moment, there was no one else in the world. Sentimental as it sounds, it was as if the globe stopped spinning, as if the hands of my watch conspired with nature itself to halt, mid-rotation.

Time did stop. I’m sure it did. Time and movement, too. Life was a freeze-frame of quiet pleasure.

Moments before, Broadway was a blur of motion and commotion, downtown Los Angeles, Friday night at 9. Horns sounded, sirens wailed, people laughed, talked, yelled, whispered. On the sidewalk, they jostled their way past us. The lights—headlights, tail lights, traffic lights, street lights, store lights—seemed to swirl kaleidoscopically around us until suddenly, all the motion and commotion froze. The globe stopped spinning. I’m positive it did.

Nothing in all creation mattered, nothing in the world seemed to exist, except the girl in front of me, the smile that formed on her face, bright as sunlight, that met my own. The hands that grasped mine, and held them. The light brown shimmer of her hair, the blue of her dress, the green of her eyes, the curve of her body, the sound of her voice, the shape of her soul.

All too soon, the motion around us returned. The din of the city was once again in our ears. Earth spun frantically in space, as it had since God first told it to. My watch ran to catch up. Los Angeles on Friday night at 9 was in our consciousness again.

But for that one moment, time had ceased, nothing else had mattered, and I was changed forever by something as simple and wonderful as the smile of a girl.

My friend.

My bride.

My life.

* * * * *


Of the many common gifts you have given, none are as priceless as the gift of love, as valuable as a life-changing relationship. Or as mysterious.

Lord, help me to guard this gift, to keep it safe from anything that would steal it away or compromise its worth.


Copyright © 2011 by James P. Long | Faith and Imagination