Hanno van der Bijl

Tag: love

Marry Someone Who Loves Other People

I was a young philosophy student about to be married. In one of my last classes, struggling through Soren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, this passage lit up the page:

“A man requires his wife to leave father and mother, but if he were to regard it as a proof of her extraordinary love for him that for his sake she became a lukewarm, indifferent daughter, etc., then he is more foolish than the greatest fool. If he had any idea what love is, he would then wish to discover that as a daughter and sister she was perfect in love and see in that an assurance that his wife would love him as she does nobody else in the kingdom.”

A decade later, watching my wife take care of our two special-needs children, I think back to Kierkegaard’s words. I love and help out with our children — don’t get me wrong — but I rely heavily on their mother to love and nurture them.

I don’t know what I would do without her.

As an insecure fiancé, I never thought my bride and I would face the kinds of challenges and sorrows we have so far. But in loving God, her parents, siblings, friends, children, colleagues, neighbors, enemies — she has loved me perfectly.

I’m glad I married her.

Marry someone who loves other people.


Breathe, for Boston


Breathe, don’t sigh
Breathe, sit still
Breathe, it’s time
Release your will

Breathe out shame
Breathe in grace
Look within
Seek my face

Breathe out pride
Breathe in freedom
There’s no need
To hide again

Breathe out darkness
Breathe in light
Fill yourself
With all my might

Breathe out doubt
Breathe in faith
Take my hand
You’ll be safe

Breathe out despair
Breathe in hope
Hold on fast
To the rope

Breathe out hate
Breathe in love
Guard your heart
From above

Breathe for life
Breathe again
Breathe and smile
Breathe, Amen.

What Tomorrow Will Bring


This world is pregnant with the next
Bulging out for all to see
Everyone looks in expectation
When will it come?
We watch, we wait, we work
Pain comes and goes
It rises and falls
It grows tense then eases its grip
Each time it feels like the world will end
And, yes, part of it does end
Faith pushes from behind
Hope pulls forward
Love stands fast
In the here and now
Transforming this world into the next