Monday, November 30, 2009

Something to Behold

As if I need more reasons to love my wife, I have found another that I feel is worth sharing with the world. I will probably get in trouble for this but what she did was and is so inspiring to me that it will be worth it. Not only has she inspired me by her actions but also by the report she returned from her action. I feel that this is worth sharing.

This is a story that begins with disappointment. Last Sunday night, after returning home from church, our home soon began to have the glorious odor of something from the goodie genre cooking in the oven. Upon my investigation, I found that my wife was cooking bread, banana-nut bread to be exact, and it smelt glorious. I knew that she had been speaking of possibly making a Thanksgiving basket to give to the elderly widows who reside around us but I did not know she intended to do it this soon. Disheartened when told that none was for our family, I told her what a great woman she was and how proud I was to be her husband.

She literally spent hours baking these loaves of bread and my heart went back to my childhood and memories of my mother working away to make and deliver her now famous pound cakes to the sick, bereaved, or just her friends. I thought about how fortunate I was to have such a wife and how useless it would be for me to offer her any help. I am mean with the grill but baking is not my forte. Needless to say, I was happy when she was finished and we could settle in and watch the recorded episode of Amazing Race, her favorite show, from that night.

The next day, for some reason that I don't know, I decided to come home and get my lunch. As I pulled into our driveway I was met by Joy and our infant son Kip. They were leaving to go make their deliveries. At first I wanted to ask if that was not something that all of us should do as a family but I quickly realized that this was her mission and that doing this on her timeline and

to her pleasure would be best. So that she would feel no obligation to stay with me while I ate I told her I would just get something to eat elsewhere, told her I loved her, and returned to my office. I couldn't help but smile as I saw her in my rearview mirror with her baskets pushing the stroller on her way to do her good deed.

As the day progressed I thought several times about how it went for her. I wondered if the women were home, if they were warm and welcoming, and if the baby had behaved. I knew in my heart though that all would go well because I knew the driving force behind her action. I knew that the sole purpose of her action was to glorify God and in her own small (easy for me to say) way let his love shine out of her. What a great woman and what an amazing fruit of the spirit that Christ provides.

As I got home though and asked her how it went, I was not met with a message of happiness but rather one of stark realization. While Joy did report that all of the eight widows she visited were happy for the company and that they enjoyed holding and playing with the baby, she was most overwhelmed by the loneliness and quiet that these ladies live in. None of these ladies live in what we would consider desolate situations. They all have large homes but Joy was shocked by the fact that they only use part of their homes. The rest remains shut off and rarely used. They have these homes but live in apartments they build into their homes. What was most shocking ot her though was the quiet they live in. While so many of us reside in homes that always has the television, the radio, the computer, or some other noisy distraction going, these ladies all lived in utter quiet. Joy commented on how she could hear the clocks all ticking and the appliances shutting on and off in an intrusive fashion. Yet, that is the life these ladies, none of whom live more than a few hundred yards from us, live. Desolate, shut off, and quiet is their lifestyle.

That leads to the reason that I write this. How easily are we caught up in our own lives, forgetting about the ones who need our time the most around us? Some of these ladies are the ones who you shake hands with or hug at church on Sunday, never once thinking about what it is they will be returning home to. How happy they must be to have company and someone to spend time with talking to. I can think of widows I personally know who their own children do not even visit them. However, I cannot judge them because the only time I tend to think about visiting them is if they are sick. What a difference we can make in someone's life though by the most simple of good deeds. While I am sure the bread was an added treat, just our time spent with them would be a gift they must cherish. This is not to be done to make our lives or relationship with God better, but rather to glorify God by making someone else's life better.

I struggled over the weekend to think of scripture that would put the light I see my wife in at this time into words. What I came up with was the following:

Psalm 119:124-128
124Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. 125I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! 126It is time for the LORD to act, for your law has been broken. 127Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. 128Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.
That is my wife - how lucky am I

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