Why would a photo of an elderly man eating lunch with his wife go viral across the Internet? Maybe because the simple image captures the true richness of love and intimacy within a marriage like few things can.
The photo first appeared on social media along with the unnamed man’s story. He met his wife when they were 17. It was love at first sight. They dated for a short time but lost touch when he left to serve in World War II, and her family relocated to another part of the country.
But he thought about her every day.
By the time the war ended, and he returned home, he had a new mission: he was going to find her. For 10 long years, he searched. But for every promising lead there was an equally disappointing dead end. Friends and family tried to discourage him. “You’re crazy,” they told him. But he wouldn’t give up. He remained committed to his search and refused to date anyone else. And to the criticism he received, he simply responded, “I am crazy. Crazy in love.”
Then one day, on a trip to California, the man stopped by a random barber shop for a haircut. As the barber snipped away, the man made small talk and shared his story. The barber listened with interest then did something unexpected. He set down his scissors and phoned his daughter. A few minutes later she appeared in the doorway.
It was her!
It turns out, she hadn’t dated anyone all those years either, and she had been searching for him. The man proposed right there on the spot, and they were married for 55 years.
But there’s still the question: why would a snapshot of the man eating lunch with his wife go viral? Because she passed away several years ago. Despite being together for over five decades, she had left him too soon. Now, he takes her picture with him everywhere he goes. And on any given day, if you’re in the area, you’ll spot him in a local diner, eating lunch, and gazing fondly at a photo of his lifelong sweetheart.
As the man said, “I was a very rich man. Not with money, but with love.”
In many ways, our culture has reduced marriage to a social contract or even redefined it entirely. But the fact that a simple photo has swept across the Internet shows we hunger for something deeper and more meaningful in our relationships. It shows we’re hungry for what God designed: the total blending of two lives, a “one-flesh” union, in which a man and a woman become extensions of one another, just as it is with Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:30-32).