The first time I saw Murray, he was playing bass guitar in a worship band.
It struck me that he was totally the most important band member: the steady, background, unbroken beat that held it all together.
He was 17 and in Form 4 at Pretoria Boys’ High. I was 19 and second year varsity. I thought he was incredibly sexy.
We became friends over the years. Better and better friends. I continued to think he was incredibly sexy.
Lots of water passed under several bridges and we both dated different people and not each other.
Then when he was 22 and I was 24, a bunch of us were at his parents’ house for a Bible study. Probably because I was an English major, and possibly because subtle chemistry was brewing between us, he wandered into the kitchen with a battered poetry book in hand. He said something along the lines of Check out this cool poem I found, and proceeded to read me Yeats:
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
A few months later he kissed me and pretty much since then, all he’s ever done is spread his dreams under my feet.
So because he turns 40 on Monday, I’m taking my Saturday-morning-500ish-words to honour him.
Murray is the most flexible, sacrificial person I know. He loves and welcomes people with rare, easygoing grace. He’s inordinately gentle and forgiving. Highly intelligent. Hilariously funny. And still, incredibly sexy.
His parents raised him to be a prince among men, and he lives that legacy in such a way that I see it coming alive in our boys.
He’s passed on to our eldest son his fierce loyalty, analytical thinking, insatiable thirst for knowledge and big picture perspective, and infuriatingly slow decision-making. He’s passed on to our youngest son his humour, kindness, sensitivity, generosity and profound compassion for all God’s creatures. I wasn’t one of those contentedly glowing pregnant women, but when I felt my babies kick against my ribs I really did love knowing my husband’s DNA-awesomeness was inside me.
Murray works around 55 hours a week. He gets home bone weary most days. Some seasons have led him to the brink of total sense of humour failure. But somehow he always rallies and gets his funny back on. Somehow he circles back to hope.
I’m making him sound perfect, and of course he’s not. But man, he’s quick to own his shortcomings – and points out mine to build me, never break me.
He’s the bass player of our lives – the steady unbroken beat that holds it all together. And like Lecrae, happy to play the background. He keeps spreading his dreams under the feet of his wife and sons – doing all he can so we can be all God’s called us to be.
He’s my debrief chief in the aftermath of pleasure or pain, my closest friend and refuge from a crazy world.
He’s my leader and my lover. My protector, provider and priest.
I’m so grateful to celebrate another birthday with him.
. . .
Happy weekend, friends! And thank you for your responses to last week’s post – I’m praying!
Here’s what’s on the menu if you’re reading this in an email: