Marriages Made in Heaven

“Whatever you do, make sure you pray fervently about life’s big decisions,” I used to tell my high school students. “Your work, your future spouse, your God-given vocation. Too much is riding on these decisions for you to grow slack or indifferent about them!”
Then I’d relate a gripping story I’d found in Guideposts Magazine—a story about a middle-aged German spinster, a former member of the Nazi party, who had realized the errors of that philosophy and had turned to God for direction in what she hoped would be the brighter chapters of her life. Diligently, she prayed for the Lord to bless her with a good spouse, adding that she was hoping to find a man who loved classical music and was endowed with sensitivity and compassion. One night she had a compelling dream, a vivid encounter with the man of her dreams. She saw him as clearly as though he was at her bedside, and she never forgot the face. Everywhere she went she searched for that distinctive look, those deep-set eyes, that shock of wavy hair, and even the mismatched tie and shirt so strikingly memorable from her dream. Finally, she found the man, and the man found her, but there was a glitch. He was Jewish! How could he give his heart to someone who’d embraced the anti-Semitic horrors of Nazism? How could he be sure she had truly renounced that? It took years, but in the end, God had His way; the former Nazi and the Jew fell deeply in love and made their way to the altar, eventually dedicating their lives to reconciling and bringing to peace other Nazis and Jews who were still entangled in the webs of unforgiveness, prejudice, and hate.
I’d practically forgotten about that story until I ran into a former student while dining out one evening. It had been almost ten years since I’d seen her, but we recognized each other immediately. “I’ve really wanted to get in touch with you,” she told me. “I just had to tell you something important. Remember that story you once told us about the woman who prayed for the right spouse? Remember how you told us to do the same thing? Well, it’s taken me years to really understand the importance of doing that, but way back when I did as you said and wrote all the qualities I wanted in a husband, just like the lady in the story did. Not too long ago, my boyfriend proposed to me. Later, I found that “wish list” I had written in high school. He’s everything I asked for—EXACTLY what I asked for! In fact, he’s even better. Just before he proposed, he went to Confession and then he asked for my hand—right there in church in front of a statue of the Blessed Mother! Who could ask for more?”
It was one of those incredibly rare moments that the Lord sometimes graces us with. Years ago I’d planted a tiny seed, and He was gracious enough to let me see the fragrant bud that had sprouted from that seed.
I still have copies of that remarkable story from Guideposts Magazine. And I still share them on occasion—seeds, I hope, of more beautiful marriages made in Heaven.

Marriages Made in Heaven

Bonnie T.  Barry

Sunset, United States

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