Anniversary, Love, Marriage, Missions

The Dance at Shoprite in Blantyre

I found my dance partner in 1984.

In a nod to Valentine’s Day, I remember our dance at Shoprite in Blantyre in 2017.

Life Went On

This past Friday was like any other day this year even though it was our anniversary. Yes, it was a special day but life went on as usual. We had just come from an amazing week away visiting our church in Lusaka, Zambia. Just getting to Lusaka from our home in Blantyre, Malawi takes two days so you can imagine how travel-weary we were by the time we got home.

Two days earlier, on our return trip, we picked up a friend who came to visit for a couple of weeks. She is a special family friend, more like a family member, who we haven’t seen for some years and meeting up with her was wonderful. We chatted all the way home, revisiting old memories and making new ones.

Pulling into the driveway at the end of our journey my mind filled with all the things that needed to be done: the laundry needing washing, the kitchen needed stocking, dinner needed cooking and life needed attending to. Then, just two days after getting home, we marked our 33rd wedding anniversary with a smile and a kiss. My husband Jamie looked at me saying, “We need to go out.” I knew he meant well and loved him more for it. But because he preaches every weekend I said, “It’s Friday, you always prepare for the weekend on Friday.” Maybe we will find another day to celebrate, I mused.

A Penchant For Forgetting

The day was going to be busy as I had to prepare for several meetings. As I prepared for the coming activities, I realized we still needed a few supplies from the store. Yes, I have a penchant for forgetting. When I write lists, I forget where I put them. So, I’m in a never-ending cycle of trying to remember what exactly it was that I forgot.

We decided to tie all of our errands together in order to save on time and fuel. I did my best to keep my list nearby, hoping I wouldn’t forget anything. First, we would stop at the store to pick up the few items needed for our meetings. However, in the back of my mind, I was remembering our own special day. No one else thought Friday was special, but it was to me. Only once can a couple celebrate 33 years of marriage.

I tried to find a card at small stationary shop while Jamie was at the bank. I quickly looked through the dismal selection of cards. Glancing out the store’s window, I hoped he wouldn’t catch me looking. Suddenly his smiling face appeared in the window, I felt defeated. I couldn’t even get a card to surprise him with and chastised myself for waiting too long to find one.

In Malawi finding an appropriate card of any kind is no easy task.

Dance With Me

Feeling a bit sheepish, I exited the shop and hugged him saying, “Sorry, there wasn’t a card.” As I was apologizing, some love song began to play over the loudspeaker. I really don’t remember what song it was but I put my arms around Jamie’s broad shoulders and said, “Dance with me.” This was particularly out of character for me since I don’t know anything about dancing – but he smiled and complied.

For a few brief moments the world was ours and my favorite anniversary memory was created. Jamie smiling, arms entwined as we swayed to some silly song. I guess a few people wondered what we were doing but I really didn’t care. Lifelong love deserves some moments of its own and for me one of those moments happened in front of the Shoprite at the Chichiri shopping center in Blantyre.

Life is a special dance of moments that God has graced us with to enjoy. While our anniversary passed without great observation as far as a night out is concerned, the moments we danced together were more important to me that day than any night out could have been.

The music is playing, life is happening, it may seem ordinary, but God is waiting. Take His hand and dance.


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