This is the sequel to the blog I wrote a couple of days ago. It is taken directly out of the autobiography Bruce was working on when he died.
One Tuesday evening I got dressed in my finest: a black suit, black shirt, white tie, and a white silk puff in my lapel pocket, and I headed for church. (We were taught that when you went to church to worship the Lord, you dressed your best)
When I got to church, I found my usual seat at the back, and sat down. Just before the service began, a young man came in accompanied by a young lady. At the time I didn't pay much attention to them other than to notice that they were not regulars.
Some time during the song service, someone suggested that perhaps one of the visitors might have a word or a special for us. After a slight hesitation, the young lady got up and came to the front. She consulted with the pianist and then started singing, “Jesus, He's the Way Maker”.
I knew that Jesus was the way maker by the way He had led me from the start of my Christian walk and that He would work out the problems that lay before me. I looked at this young singer. She wore a blue and white checkered cotton dress. She had long silky blond hair, and ravishing blue eyes, and when our eyes met, the Lord spoke to me. “This is the one that will become your wife.”
I was riveted by what had transpired in those few short seconds. I couldn't tear my eyes away.
But she had come in with someone else, and she went back home with him. I waited. How would God bring his word to pass? I didn't have her phone number. I don't think I even knew her name. All I could do was leave it in the hands of my Lord.
The next time Carrie (Bruce's name for me ) came to church, she was with her parents. I learned that she was not dating the young man whom she had come with that first time. Her parents started attending regularly and bringing her with them. I was delighted.
We quickly became acquainted, doing activities together with other young people in the church. But them one night after church I asked her parents if I could take her with me and another couple out to Niagara Falls. I promised that I would get her home safely and not keep her out too late.
They hesitated, but finally agreed to let her go, and that was the start of our courtship.
We had gone to Mama Mia's restaurant in Niagara Falls, and although Carrie seemed to be enjoying herself, she didn't eat much. On the way home I reached for her hand. She didn't pull away. I was driving, and the other couple were in the back seat. I planned on dropping them off before taking Carrie home.
I must have been deep in thought, or perhaps just unable to think at all, because I suddenly heard some snickering behind me. I realized that I was stopped and was waiting for a green light, but the intersection didn't have a traffic light, only a stop sign. I don't know how long I had been waiting there, but when I realized where I was, I quickly moved forward and dropped off my amused passengers at their destination.
I was alone with the girl who, I knew, would some day become my wife. They say that love is blind, and I guess it must be true, because, that same evening, as I was taking her up Thirty Road to the farm where she lived with her parents, I missed seeing another stop sign. This time, instead of giggles behind me, I heard the sound of a siren and saw flashing lights.
I wondered what I had done. The police officer was quick to inform me of my failure to stop at a stop sign, but not so quick to fill out all the paper work necessary for the ticket he issued me. It must have taken an hour before we were allowed to be on our way again. Our first date, and I was very late in getting my girl home to her parents.
That late night could have ended our relationship. Her parents were very strict about punctuality. I had never been much good at being anywhere on time, and this was not the best way to endear myself to them. But the Lord had a plan for my life that included Carrie Peters, and, in spite of my failings, He continued to work out all the details.
I pursued Carrie with all my might. I was determined to hear a declaration of her love, but she was a little slower to respond with the words I was waiting for. It took almost two whole months before she finally admitted that she loved me.
There was no proposal. You see, we both assumed that my coaxing her to say those words and her declaration of love was the same as a proposal on my part and a “yes, I will marry you” on hers. Our only question was when would we ask her parents, and how soon would we tie the knot.
Two months later on a cold February day we were declared husband and wife. Carries parents had had their concerns, but they were willing to embrace me as their son. I was determined to be a responsible husband and, I hoped, someday, to be a good parent.
For the previous post see: Where Could I Go but to the Lord