Saturday, March 09, 2013

A romance that went on and on

Ray and Anne Ortlund met at a prayer group they both attended. "You can learn a lot about a person's heart just by listening to them talk to God," says Anne.

Two weeks after they met, Ray asked Anne out on their first date - a moonlit horseback ride. As they rode along on a lovely mild night, Ray began to sing an old hymn. Anne joined in. She didn't know he could sing and he didn't know she could sing, but the harmony they made together was quite something. That night they fell in love.

Shortly before Christmas that year, Ray proposed. It was 1944. He just had time to hand over an engagement ring before he was posted overseas for 18 months.

On his return, they were married. Their romance lasted for 60 years.

When they were in their fifties, they were eating in a restaurant one day. Ray looked at Anne, put down his fork and began to cry. "What's the matter?" she said. "You're so beautiful," he said.

When Ray preached during his ministry years, he would often lean over the pulpit and  say to Anne "Do you have any idea how much I love you?"

One of the reasons they chose a high-rise flat for their later years was that the building had a lift, and they had realised what lifts were for - for kissing, they said, when nobody else was in the lift.

Ray died five years ago. Occasionally Anne still finds a love note he hid around the house for her to find later. She still talks to him - because she misses him.

She recognises that they won't be married in heaven, but prays they will still be dearest friends. She is aware that the marriage there will be between Christ and His church. "That wedding," she says, "will be off the charts."

More details of their story here.