The table was set in the very best she had; matching plates registered for eight months before, stylish yet sensible. The glasses had only been used twice since their wedding day and now elegantly stood tall, proudly showing off a wonderful hand squeezed lemonade. Atop the table was a loaf of homemade bread, not particularly Amish smooth but soft and warm none the less. She could still feel a slight strain in her forearms as it took her quite some time to knead, and a slow, sly smile came to her lips. She couldn’t wait until he finally arrived home from work.
She pulled the ribs off the grill, and while they were tender they bore a few charred lines here and there, which disappointed her greatly. She started to despair inside like a little child who had been denied, but then heard tires in the gravel. She quickly removed her apron, and looking at her reflection in the patio door tucked a stray wheat-colored lock behind her ear. Slightly nervous, she went to the door.
She opened it, and her heart sank. Her husband came home with BBQ stains on his mouth, carrying a Styrofoam take-out box.
“Hey honey, wow did I have a day! We were super busy, and I know you called me, but. .. “
Finally stopping to look at her, he was perplexed by the expression on her face.
“Oh, yeah. . . yeah I know we were supposed to have a nice dinner in tonight. But you’ll never BELIEVE my luck! I got the chance to eat at the new BBQ place in town, and it was just awesome. And I know that you made ribs tonight, and they’re always pretty decent, you know----- but these. . . . these just do something crazy to me. They are the absolute best I have ever tasted. I’ll probably be hungry later----can you just heat them up for me in a few hours?”
Week after week, her hard worked dinners were met with a Styrofoam take out box. First it was the new BBQ place, then a burger joint, then a pizza place; then any new place in town. And week after week, her meal was consumed in a mirthless quiet, until that gave way to a deep bitterness.
One evening her husband had come home early, and in an effort to surprise his wife he had picked up dinner from the only place they usually went to together. He set the table and read the news until she came home.
“Hey honey! Hey I wanted to surprise you tonight with our favorite place! So I picked it up on the way home-----“
“Oh. Thanks. I’m not hungry.”
“Really? Why? I figured you would love this. . . .”
“Well, to be honest, I am kind of tired of that. So I stopped in for a spicy sushi roll from the new place in town. You wouldn’t believe how awesome it is! The atmosphere is really a lot of fun----my friends and I have been meeting there a lot. It is the best fun I have had in ages! We dance and laugh and just talk and have a great time together.”
Sometimes the couple would eat together-----he would eat his meal and she would eat hers, in the same room together, but never the same meal. The rift grew a little bigger each week.
Wiping the sweaty, sticky hair from her forehead, Allyson put the firmly frozen pizza in the oven. “It’s amazing how long these suckers take to bake!”, she said, consulting the box. She had spent most of the day dealing with sick children in this summer heat, and she surely didn’t have much to show for it.
She managed to pick up the living room a bit because she knew that Will would be home soon. She knew that was important to him. He worked such long hours at the machine shop to make a way for her and the kids that he deserved a little order and peace when he came home. She went to the door and opened it, mustering up all the cheerfulness she could find.
Will saw his sweet wife in the doorway. “My goodness, she looks like she’s had a day”, he thought to himself. Allyson was such a hard worker, so thoughtful toward him and the children and to others. She deserved a little rest when he came home, so he intended to read books to his sick little ones so she could have some time of her own.
After quick kisses Will asked about dinner. She apologetically told him that it was just a frozen pizza----nothing fancy, and certainly not what she wanted to serve. She knew there were so many better pizzas out there to be eating, but she gave the very best she had that day.
Will was so happy to have that pizza with his wife. There were many other places to get a better tasting pizza, but no one in the world had made a pizza just for him. . .except Allyson. And no man had worked hard for her that day . . . except Will. They were thankful for the meal they shared together, which could have just as well been filet mignon, for the companionship was the true delight. They ate side by side, enjoying the pizza, fully engaged with one another, eyes sparkling and both laughing and sharing about their day, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.----Solomon 7: 10
I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.----Solomon 6:3
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.-----Solomon 5:16
Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.-----Solomon 4:7
Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!-------Solomon 4:9-10