Luke’s thoughts drifted to several times when he’d really bungled it, and he groaned. “Please, Lord, just direct me. I need you. Amen.”
The next night was their date night. Once a week, Luke and Tess made sure to clear their schedules of all else, to devote time to one another. Whatever they did together, and however things panned out, they’d made a pact to always close in prayer before they went their separate ways for the night. Luke and Tess had both confessed that they were glad they’d made the pact during the pink-and-rosy times, because there had sure been times they could have parted differently, and there had been some few prayers muttered between clenched teeth. Tonight, however, both were really glad to see each other, and their eyes shone.
They were meeting at Tess’ apartment, and she’d prepared a simple dinner for them. They chatted as they ate, about nothing in particular, and there was just a little spraying of water and snapping of towels as they washed the dishes up.
“Let’s go for a walk,” Luke suggested, as he held his hand out to her. Tess searched his eyes, and shyly took it. Luke wondered if she knew something was up, too.
They strolled to their favorite park in the evening twilight. Luke escorted her to a bench, sat next to her, took her hands, and looked at her. He saw a hard swallow as she looked down.
“Tess,” he began, “you know I love you. You know I love the Lord more than I love you, and I know the same about you. We both know where we’ve each come from; some of it ain’t pretty, but God has meant it for good, to bring us together.” He paused, not knowing where to go, searching for words. Tess looked up at him. Now he looked down, and let go her hands. “Tess, we’ve talked about marriage before, and I’ve never sensed that you’re sure, that it’s what you really want. I don’t want to push you into anything, and I don’t want you running away, but I just feel that I have to say something.”
He looked again at Tess. She swallowed again, but was silent. Dared he think her eyes reflected hope?
“Okay,” he started again. “I had this idea.” He reached into his shirt pocket. “I brought my lucky coin.” He locked eyes with her.
“Heads we get married, tails we break up.”
Tess looked at the coin, looked at Luke, and smiled. It was a great, huge, joyful smile. She knew that coin, that old Roman coin, Luke’s lucky silver coin from his father. The one with the head of Zeus on one side, and the head of Jupiter on the other. “Go for it!” she said.
Luke and Tess were again seated on their favorite park bench. Luke reached into his shirt pocket.
“Remember that lucky coin?” he asked.
Tess smiled and nodded.
“It’s in this little box.” he said, and opened it. Inside was an exquisite ring, detailed with diamond and ruby.
“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty,” he went on: “not in luck or false gods. I had that coin melted down, and now it symbolizes the unbroken circle of our love. Proverbs 31 asks, ‘Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.’ Tess, you are far above rubies, but I hope this symbolizes the infinite value I place upon you.” He took her hand, and slid the ring onto her finger. “And the diamond, well, …”
Tess beheld her beloved through mizzled eyes. “This diamond is forever,” she finished, “and I will wear it forever, as my pledge of love and respect for you.”