Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary

I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m pretty sure you all know that by now. Love fascinates me, it captivates me, and yes, it can be rather distracting from other important things in my life.

When I think about love, and romance, and marriage, I think about reaching that moment where you never have to say goodbye. Where you never have to let go, where you have each other forever and ever.

In 1973, a love story was born. A hippie musician. An aspiring ballerina. Sparks flew, and a romance was kindled. Infatuation turned into dedication. Dedication, not simply to one another, but to their Lord and Savior, dedication to the ministry He called them to, dedication to the children He blessed them with. Dedication through the blessings and success He gave them, and dedication to the trials and pain He tested them with.

This was a true love story. Complete, not just simply by the feelings toward one another, but their love for Christ. Christ was their first love, though they loved each other ferociously.

I think it’s easy for us to say that Christ is our first love. I think too easily they become but words, practiced until they roll off the tongue with ease. It’s simple to make this claim until it’s truly tested.

After 37 years of marriage, my father had to do the unthinkable. He had to say goodbye. Goodbye to a wife that had loved him, cared for him, encouraged him, and even scolded him when necessary. Goodbye to his help-meet, his #1 fan, his best friend.

Goodbye to a marriage that had encouraged and saved lives and families in generation after generation. One that had earned the respect, not only of the world, but of their own family. One that had raised up their children to take their place as leaders of their generation.

He had to say goodbye. And as we stood by her bed, as the life of the woman we all loved fiercely slowly faded before our eyes, my father leaned close, tears whelming in his eyes, but his voice toned with quiet resolve,

“It’s alright, Sono. You can go home now.”

My father let her go. My father surrendered her to her first love. To his first love.

Every Sunday, I watch as my father lifts his hands and blesses his Lord. Every Sunday, I watch him exhort others to surrender themselves and live for Him. The one that saw it fit to take his wife to heaven. Unhesitatingly, he carries on. Why? Because God is his first love.

This picture shatters the image that I have of love. Forever and ever? It’s not to be. It questions what I put as first in my life. I watched a marriage, strong, passionate and loving, give way to something greater.

Today, so close to Valentines, we celebrate a marriage. A true love story. It’s success, it’s beauty, not because of the love between the two individuals but because of God’s love for them, and they for Him.

Happy 37th anniversary, Gregg Eugene and Sono Sato. Your story, and your lives will never be forgotten.

Your son,


1 John 4:19 - “We love because He first loved us.”


Bekka said...

Great post, Isaac. Very encouraging and well written. What an example your Dad is for you. =)

Love is such an incredible thing.

Charity Anne said...

wow. I am literally speechless. Thank you for this!

Kaitland C. said...

Hey Isaac,

I just wanted to say thanks for this. Your parents were and are awesome examples, as are you and your brothers and sisters. :) This was very sweet and touching (I haven't cried at a story for a while now, but this one brought tears to my eyes). I was very blessed by this. :)

Keep on keeping on! God has a lot in store for those who surrender to Him.

Rachel said...

This is beautifully written, Isaac. Thank your for sharing this touching, inspiring testimony of your parents' love for one another and, most importantly, their devotion to God.


~Miss Raquel said...

This is beautiful, Isaac. Stay strong!

Destiny said...

Isaac, that was beautifully written!

The Lord gives, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord!

I'm still praying for you family, and I know that it still hurts at times... but you shall see her again! Along with our Lord! What a joyous day it shall be :)


John Moore said...


Nathan Straub said...

That was worth writing. Thanks.

Joel said...

This is great, bro. I love you!

Amy said...

Wonderful, thank you for this!!

Peter said...

How honoring of the love and work your parents shared together. They continue to be an example and inspiration to Christ's church. May you follow in their footsteps.

Fred & Leon said...

Everyone in your family, seems to be able to write extremely well, it's wonderful!

Thank you for sharing this. It's been so encouraging. You've been very blessed to be able to be a part of this love story :)


Sheridan said...

Your family is such an inspiration to me. And these words of yours are so beautifully written.
Slightly teary, and I don't cry easily.

A random follower of your blog in Australia.


Brett said...

I love you buddy. Thanks so much for writing this.