2012 Third Place Winner

Name: Robert Kinyon
Age: 16
School: St. Thomas More High School, Rapid City SD

A Letter To My Future Wife

            My dearest wife,

            I have been thinking about you ever since I have been a young boy, and I am eagerly waiting the day when I finally meet you.  Truth be told, though, the way that I have thought about you has recently changed.  Until a handful of months ago, as I imagined you, my mind usually found itself considering how you might look.  I thought about your body - your hair color and its length.  I thought about your weight and height.  I would think of your stunning eyes highlighting your beautiful face.  I am embarrassed to say so, but the way I saw you in my mind was much like the way I saw models for Victoria's Secret.  I want you to believe me, though, when I tell you that these days I know you are much more than that.  I have come to understand much more deeply what it means for me to be a man, and what it means for you to be a woman, and the glory to which we have been called in our vocation to marriage.

            Before I go any further, there are a few things that I need to be sure you know.  First, you are beautiful.  This beauty has little to do with your physical appearance.  Rather your beauty exists in the fact that you have been created by God and for God.  God created you, and He has made you different than any other woman who has ever lived or who will ever live.  And yet, even as one so unique, you reveal a powerful truth about God and about me.  You see, as a woman there is something about you that suggests mystery.  You possess a hidden power and strength.  Combined with these, in your very body you bear the capacity to carry life.  In the hiddenness of this reality, you bear witness to those first silent moments when, before God separated the darkness from the light, He already knew that He would create us to share His infinite love.   Man and woman were not made to be separate, but to unite and become one flesh.  I stand in awe that one day, as your husband, I will be allowed to play a part with you in that mystery.

            In a similar way, I am struck by your goodness.  This, like your beauty, also results from the fact that God made you.  Because of that you have a dignity that cannot be diminished by any action of your own or of any others.  I know that in living life we all get scarred by sin and that we all accumulate baggage.  I do not yet know what baggage you bring or how you have been scarred.  I do know this, though:  I long for you.  My heart aches for you.  I want to find you because in you I know that in your goodness I will see manifested the goodness of God Himself.  I know with certainty that even in those moments when I have lusted for you, and when in my imagination, I have wanted to possess you, the thing that I wanted more than anything else was to know God's love for me.  In your goodness you reveal that love, and through it, you call me to be a better man.  In a word, you make me want to love.  You make me want to sacrifice.  You make me want to die for the cause of loving you.  It is through this longing to sacrifice myself, I am coming to realize, that must define me as a man.

            The truth is I do not deserve you.  I do not deserve anything.  This too leaves me standing in wonderment.  Who am I that God should allow me to experience a love so far beyond what I could ever have dreamed for myself?  And because I don't deserve you, I find that only one response is appropriate.  When one receives a gift beyond ones capacity to repay, one can only give everything back in return.  That is what I want to do for you.  The truth of the matter, however, is that I am selfish.  Even when I want to give, I find that I take.  Even when I want to sacrifice, I find that I all too often take the easy way.  And so I need you to remind me every day who I am supposed to be.  I know that God has created me for something so great that it is even beyond my imagination, and that He has such a complex and beautiful plan for the both of us. Please settle for nothing less of me.

            Perhaps at this point I sound as though I am broken and needy and that I look to you to affirm my own goodness and worth.  To a certain extent I suppose this is true.  I am broken.  I am needy.  I, like you, and like everyone, am fallen.  I need to be redeemed.  I understand, however, that I cannot expect you to heal me.  That is a work that Christ undertook the day that I was baptized.  You have a part to play, though.  Because Christ has called us to be wed, He knows that my loving you will continue to affect me, slowly but surely converting me from sinner to saint.  Likewise my love for you will also help you to become holy.  As we give ourselves to each other, I am convinced that we will come to understand ever more deeply how it is that Christ's love could transform the world.  Because we will be experiencing that same sort of love for each other, God willing, we will also become a sign and witness of love and life to others around us.  Can you imagine?  God has brought us together out of love for us so that our love for each other can change the world.  How many lives will be changed by our witness?  Think of it!  How will our friends, family, and community be transformed by the children that we will have the power to bring to them?  God has chosen us to cooperate with Him so that not only you and I get to heaven, but so that the whole world could be redeemed.

            As Pope John Paul II puts it, “God has assigned as a duty to every man the dignity of every woman.”  I vow to work my very hardest to dignify you and to honor you for the rest of my life.  You are the one that I will gladly share the rest of my life with; I will always be there to love, honor, trust, and forgive you, and I know you that you will do the same for me.  I will cherish every moment I spend with you, from our first date all the way to being that cute, elderly couple that holds hands in the park together.  My love for you can no longer be expressed through a poem or song, but through the total, faithful, and fruitful life that we will share together.

              With that thought in mind, I think I will conclude for now.  I leave you with these thoughts.  You are good.  You are beautiful.  I will do battle with the powers of hell at work in me and in the world, so that I can love you.  Know that I am looking for you.  Do not give up hope that I will find you.  Please pray for me that I might be a man such as you deserve.  

             With most affectionate longing,

             Robert Ignatius Kinyon