Bananas. That is the word my wife and I came up with to describe our relationship--or at least a certain aspect of it. I have to admit that we have friends who would agree adamantly, and without hesitation.

I'm not sure how long ago it was exactly when "bananas" became more to us than fruit. Though perhaps as I explain, "fruity" is what will come to mind. It does for some I tell the story to.

It was some time ago, my wife and I fell in love--again. This time, it was after being married fifteen years or so. We held each other's hands. We ogled into each other's eyes. We whispered sweet momentous nothings into each other's ears. Love seemed new again, and better in so many ways.

With the advent of e-mail, our love embraced a newfound avenue. Every note, from "Just thinking of you," to "Please pick up a loaf of bread," concluded with some heartfelt endearment--as though we wrote the words for the first time.
"I love you."

"I love you more."

"Love you so much!"

"Love you smuch!"

And finally, "I love you bunches."

So now the sappy picture might seem complete. But please bear with me for just one more. That's right: "Bananas." "I love you bunches," transformed simply to "Bananas." Yes, it sounds a little corny, but there is more to this than it seems. So please read on.

It was our seventeenth wedding anniversary, and I was not content to settle for a normal gift as such. Flowers, cards, candies: they each are nice, but couldn't I be more creative just this once. After all, seventeen years is quite a long time. My wife would most certainly agree with tongue in cheek.

After shuffling through the list of possibilities in my thoughts, at last the perfect gift had come to mind. That's right--bananas! Seventeen, to be exact; one for each year we had been together. Seventeen ripe, yellow bananas, arranged ever so meticulously in a basket made of wicker weave. Of course a card accompanied. After all, you cannot have such a gift without endorsement. Without the card, maybe she would not know who sent it...perhaps? I would think she knows at least a few ducks odd as I. Not really.

Now, I had put the arrangement together myself--something for which I am quite proud. Besides, who else would put it together for me? A florist who also sells bananas perhaps?

With present in hand, it was now time to deliver it in person. And so I ventured on--package in hand, across the parking lot, through the double glass doors, and straight to my wife's office.

"This is for you dear!" I grinned. "Happy anniversary!"

Now, what came next, perhaps you might expect, or perhaps you may not believe at all. With such a thoughtful gift received, how else could she respond? Right? Creative, thoughtful, unique--what more could she want--what more could she ask for?

I will tell you this much, I received a lot of strange looks from people I told about it. Why would they think such a thing is so odd? Especially considering the source. That very thought alone delights me to the point of laughter. I strangely enjoy being thought of as different.

But different is how I am, and different is how my wife's and my relationship is. Unique, really. Unique in fashion and form. As unique as it was conceived in the mind of our Heavenly Father. For that, we give Him praise. For who would have guessed that a young man and woman who knew so very little about each other, would one day come together and, in later years, learn how much alike they truly were.

No, I've not forgotten. I will tell you how my wife responded to the gift. It may seem that such an odd sort of gift would come from an odd sort of guy, but it took an odd sort of women to receive that gift just as it was intended. My wife smiled from ear to ear, while coworkers looked on in puzzlement. She then looked into my eyes and warmly said, "I love you bunches too."

I could have given her any ordinary thing, and she would have been grateful. But somehow, all that we were together as one was summed up in seventeen ripe, yellow bananas.

God made us unique individuals, and He has made us unique as one--just as He does with every marriage. Within the Master's hands, amazing things can take shape. The two people can become one in so many wonderful and interesting ways. It is truly a gift from God to us, should each of us choose to learn to see it that way. The gift He gives may seem a little odd from the outside looking in. But to gain a better understanding paints a whole other picture.

Your marriage, like mine, may appear a little fruity to others who observe. Perhaps there is a fruit you can think of that describes your marriage well. Maybe there are some terms of endearment you share that no one else would understand. I know that God has something wonderful to offer in each and every marriage. I would hope within your marriage that he would give you the world... as for me--I will settle for bananas.