Sil­ver an­niver­sary shar­ing

Mar­riage is a covenant, but it is also a test. It is a test to see if per­se­ver­ance will win over ca­pit­u­la­tion, whether faith is stronger than doubt, and if unconditional love can tri­umph over un­for­give­ness.

Sun.Star Cebu - - BUSINESS - AL­LAN S.B. BATUHAN al­[email protected]

Last week, I fea­tured the mes­sage that my son, Jake, de­liv­ered to his par­ents, on the oc­ca­sion of our sil­ver wed­ding an­niver­sary. This time, I will share my own mes­sage, in the hope that this, too, shall in­spire other cou­ples to per­se­vere in their own jour­neys.

1993 was a very mem­o­rable year, as far as mem­o­rable years go.

That year, the first Juras­sic Park movie hit the the­atres, over­tak­ing ET as the largest gross­ing film of all time.

Also that same year, Wil­liam Jef­fer­son Clin­ton be­came the 42nd pres­i­dent of the United States.

The Chicago bulls won the third ti­tle in their first of two three-peat NBA cham­pi­onship runs, after which Michael Jor­dan re­tired from bas­ket­ball, to pur­sue his dream of play­ing his fa­vorite child­hood sport of base­ball.

And of course, 25 years ago to­mor­row, Ding­dang and I ex­changed our wed­ding vows in a church not too far from here, a young cou­ple about to em­bark on our life’s jour­ney to­gether.

A quar­ter of a cen­tury hence, we can tell you what a truly fan­tas­tic jour­ney it has been. It hasn’t al­ways been smooth sail­ing--as no hu­man ac­tiv­ity with more than two peo­ple in­volved ever is. Mar­riage is a covenant, but it is also a test. It is a test to see if per­se­ver­ance will win over ca­pit­u­la­tion, whether faith is stronger than doubt, and if unconditional love can tri­umph over un­for­give­ness.

In­deed, as I look back over the course of 25 years, the word that comes to mind is pu­rifi­ca­tion. The 25th mile­stone in a mar­riage is called a sil­ver an­niver­sary, and the fa­mous story of a sil­ver­smith re­fin­ing his sil­ver per­haps de­scribes best where the name for the event may have come from. The story is en­ti­tled The Re­finer’s Fire, which nar­rates what a woman wit­nessed as she watched a skilled sil­ver­smith make fine sil­ver jew­elry. The story goes like this.

The Re­finer’s Fire

As she watched the sil­ver­smith, he held a piece of sil­ver over the fire and let it heat up. He ex­plained that in re­fin­ing sil­ver, one needed to hold the sil­ver in the mid­dle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the im­pu­ri­ties.

The woman thought about God hold­ing us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: “He sits as a re­finer and puri- fier of sil­ver (Malachi 3:3).”

She asked the sil­ver­smith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the sil­ver was be­ing re­fined. The man an­swered that yes, he not only had to sit there hold­ing the sil­ver, but he had to keep his eyes on the sil­ver the en­tire time it was in the fire. If the sil­ver was left a mo­ment too long in the flames, it would be de­stroyed.

The woman was silent for a mo­ment. Then she asked the sil­ver­smith, “How do you know when the sil­ver is fully re­fined?” He smiled at her and an­swered, “Oh, that’s easy-—when I see my im­age in it.”

And that’s the only way I can ex­plain to my­self why Ding­dang and I are still here, com­mit­ted to the same vows we made to our­selves, to Christ and to the Church all those years ago. There were in­deed times when we were, like the im­pure sil­ver, sub­jected to the hottest fires. And in spite of it all, our mar­riage was never con­sumed by the flames, be­cause the Great Sil­ver­smith who con­stantly seeks to pu­rify us all from our im­per­fec­tions, never for a mo­ment turned his lov­ing gaze away from us, pa­tiently wait­ing to see his im­age upon that sil­ver.

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