Fifty years seems like a long time until you’ve been alive that long. By the time you’ve been married that long, it seems even shorter, or so I’ve been told. In the case of Bob and Lyndy (aka Lynda; we’re still looking into whether there was some legal trouble that caused her to change her name) Beams, it seems like only a week, or so the pictures would appear to indicate.
Someone asked why the invitation to their 50th celebration showed a picture of Lyndy with her son — it turned out to be a picture of Lyndy with Bob from their youth, but she hasn’t changed a lick. Normally you’d say she made a deal with the devil but the only deal she has with him is that he stays out of her way and she doesn’t whoop his posterior. I’m not entirely sure she keeps her part of the bargain.
There are a lot of impressive things about Bob, starting with he got Lyndy to marry him, but perhaps the most impressive thing is that the first non-family member to stand up and say nice things about them at their celebration was the woman who’s worked for him for thirty-seven years. (The only people that have stayed around me that long are my parents, and that’s just because I can outrun them.) It’s an amazing thing to be somebody’s boss for almost four decades and still have them count you as a dear friend. It speaks a lot to how you treat people, and although it is impressive, it’s not really a surprise to anyone that knows Bob.
We first got to know Bob on our first mission trip several years ago. He was the leader of our little band as we went to Guatemala to minister in a girl’s orphanage. What we learned on that trip is that Bob had invested a lot of his own time and money in learning Spanish so that he could better minister in Guatemala (and Mexico before that). In fact, he spent some extra time in Guatemala to go to Spanish class during the trip. That he loved the ministry, and the girls, became obvious when twenty-seven of them gave their lives to Jesus as he shared the gospel with them toward the end of the week.
We don’t have any pictures of or with Lyndy, mainly because she doesn’t sit/stand still long enough to get one. I’ve seen six year olds with less energy than she has, and half the stamina. Lyndy’s busy because there are a lot of things to do. Those of a certain age may remember her from her twenty-five year old campaign against Geraldo Rivera’s show on afternoon TV. (You can read a little about it here.) It took her three years but she got it done.
Mostly, the things on Lyndy’s to-do list is to love people. Except she doesn’t need a to-do list — I would say it’s second nature, but for her I’m pretty sure it’s first nature. For Lyndy “love” is most definitely a verb, a whirlwind of an action word — she writes notes, she asks penetrating questions, she shares what the Bible has to say to minister to whatever the subject might be going through at the time. To know Lyndy is to be loved on by her, as we in the south like to say.
Separately they’re amazing, but together they’re just ridiculous. Ridiculously fantastic — if more singles thought they were what married life was going to be like, the marriage rate would go up 25% overnight. They’re like a Reese’s peanut butter cup — two individually awesome things that once joined feel like they were born to be together, and are even better in the bargain.
Of course they’re great parents, too. (Sometimes you want to play them a different game every night in hopes of finding something they’re not good at.) They loved them and taught them and lived out the gospel to them, and their kids have in turn passed that on to their kids and to all of those around them. The mark of a good marriage is often seen in the kids it produces, and in this case it’s home runs all the way around.
I could write a lot more, but I’m already going to be in trouble with Lyndy for writing this much. She told her daughter that she didn’t want their 50th celebration dinner to be all about them; fortunately, Amy ignored her. Because sometimes, it is all about Lyndy. And Bob.
Happy 50th, Bob and Lyndy. It’s a Matthew 5:16 kind of day.