Six months before the actual endowment of wedding rings, the story of my engagement ushered me into a humbling brokenness that ironically took me to God's supreme opulence.
How can a man so poor propose to a woman so rich?
Inconceivable as it is, my identity as a child of God took its rubber to the dirt road when one foggy night I just had to trade my puny concept of God with His promised reality.
Maria Danielle came to my life like a psalm. I have no words to describe her introduction but in silent joyful hums. I knew it was the right time to ask if she was just as crazy to marry me. We were hand in hand in conversation around a secluded tennis court atop a hill. The chat was gloriously redundant. It was all about the dream of living life together.
An hour into the rendezvous, I knew I just had to say it.
I could not say it. I had no diamonds to show.
Having turned my life over to God, life in the seminary was lavish with trained wisdom but fueled by disciplined poverty. I never got hungry, but I just did not have money. And so, there was no ring for the night of disclosure.
And so, I just circled in some confused intention. I was half-praying and half-improvising on how one gets things done without the necessary engagement accessory.
Without any sort of warning, she paused her steps, looked at me in the eye and said: "I know you are about to say something important and I also know why you are taking so much time."
She then did the most emancipating gesture I have ever witnessed: she removed a most beautiful turquoise ring with six shimmering diamonds from her finger. She took my palm, dropped the jewel and said:
"Now ... you can speak."