I thought it was cool to hit 75 last month. Not sure you enjoy your landmark as much. Do guys think differently about age?
I am grateful that you stayed at Trinity Lutheran when you came to California in 1972. You wondered if you had made a mistake. You went to the Communion Service still in limbo about returning to Minnesota or becoming a missionary in Japan. A prophetic word from Bud Hahn gave you peace. He said, knowing nothing of your situation, “You are in the right place.” You felt that God had spoken. I am grateful, because I married you three years later. I continue to discover rich things about you.
YOU ARE VERSATILE.
You believe in the power of prayer–and always have. So thankful that as a pastor and leader I don’t have to drag along a reluctant wife. Sometimes you are pushing me, because…
YOU ARE GIFTED IN THE SPIRIT.
You encourage me to sing in the Spirit. I may be known by a few as the “Holy Spirit guy,” with seventeen years at Lutheran Renewal. Yet you often lead the charge when it comes to the gifts.
YOU ARE EVEN MORE JAPANESE THAN I THOUGHT.
You are not a American. You identify strongly with people from other countries, especially Asian, and particularly Japanese. You imbibed the culture, living in Japan from age three to seventeen, formative years. It shows often. And yet you have embraced a kind of community life very different from your cultural preference. God honors you for that.
YOU ARE ESPECIALLY KIND TO THE ELDERLY.
You have done a great job of honoring your parents, and I see it reflected in the way you treat other elderly people. You are especially comfortable with them. You are great with the little ones but just as effective with the older ones. You make them feel important, like they have value. You listen well to them.
YOU ARE NOT STUCK.
I was amazed when I spoke to you three weeks ago the evening after you had your suitcase stolen at the very beginning of your family cruise. You were upbeat, having fun with your siblings. I said, “You let it go, didn’t you?” You said, “Yes.” Most women would have been absolutely crushed. You handled this major setback with maturity. We have our disagreements. So glad that we can always work stuff through to a good resolution, because you let things go.
YOU HAVE HELPED TO MAKE OUR MARRIAGE STRONG.
We balance each other off. Your strengths are my weaknesses, and vice versa. When I am going too fast, you slow me down. When you are moving too slow, I speed you up (sometimes). We do a good job of making each other laugh.
YOU ARE BUILDING AN INCREDIBLE LEGACY.
I don’t know if you have ever turned down your children when they asked for childcare, which is almost daily. You are a master at grandmothering. You define the word. Your children know that you will drop anything for their kids. You far outshine me in the grandparent arena.
So, Mrs. Anderson, my invisible hat goes off to you. I suspect that we may only have about thirty good years left, so let’s make the most of them. Much love and affection,