A Valentine for My Wife in Pictures and Rhyme

I loved you by the bending tree
Where N plus J marks you and me.


I loved you outside Williston,
The year before God made us one.


I loved you in a paisley dress,
When everything in me said, Yes.


I loved you when your hair was long,
Like Mary and her sixties song.


I loved you in your wedding gown,
And how we tiptoed out of town.


I loved you on the balcony
Of our small flat in Germany.


I loved you when your heart was buoyed,
And even when you were annoyed.


I loved you when our first son came;
Yes, Karsten is a boy’s first name.


I loved you with the quiver full;
How could you carry such a bull!


I loved you for your leadership.
That hulk’s still sitting on your hip!


I loved you with your autumn bloom,
As if God said, “Talitha kum!”


I loved you subtle in your joy;
I loved you sweater-clad and coy.


I loved you beaming, eyes a-bright,
All formal black, and my delight.


I loved you on a mountain deck,
When I was dripping from the trek.


I loved you stokin’ at my back,
Or if you coasted with your snack.


I loved you when God took the stress,
And gave us peace at Inverness.


I loved you in the Blue Ridge trove
Near Asheville that they call the Cove.


I loved you when they made us wait.
“No charge!” they said, “the meal was late.”


I loved you when you joined with ease
To stare down all our enemies.


I love you still with mystery:
The mystery that you love me.

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.