Love in Action

I have not previously posted links to other blogs, but today is an exception: The simple wife.

The Simple WifeOn January 11, 2011, wife, mother and writer, Joanne, suffered a stroke. Her daughter found her. She spent time in a medically induced coma and is now coming out of it. This is certainly a tragic and difficult circumstance for her family. I am aware there are other people who are suffering horrific health issues: children with cancer, husbands who have lost their wives and children in car accidents and so much more horror and suffering that goes on in this world and that my heart grieves over when I read about them.

So what is so unique about this one? Why would I bring this blog and Joanne’s story to you? I share it, because I am so moved by the love and dedication of her husband, Toben. He has been blogging on her page about her progress and every time it brings me to tears to see a man so in love with his wife, even when she is totally incapable of doing anything to earn or deserve that love.

When I see love like this modeled by a human, fallible, man it does two things to me.

First, it reminds me of how far from that I am in my marriage. I grieve because I do not have that kind of love and dedication directed my way. It highlights my loss and I pray even more for this woman who right now has no clue how loved she is. She may suffer a brain injury, but in many ways she is much more blessed than I am, although some may question my own cognitive capabilities at times! (I do!)

Secondly, it highlights the beauty of love that is modeled on Christ’s example in Scripture. He loved us when we were unable to return that love. Grace, compassion, tenderness. God’s love reached through time to woo and win the hearts of those He created. Our sin put us in a coma, totally unable to see the depravity of our situation, and still, He came to nurture us and heal us and bring us to Himself. Toben, a mere man, exemplifies Christ in his actions and in his honest blogging as he tends to his wife and cares for his two daughters.

It is good to remember that there is such a thing as this kind of sacrificial love when some of us are so desperate for it. I may not have a human husband like this here on this earth, but I do know that God promises to meet us in our pain.“For the LORD has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife in youth when she is cast off.” (Isaiah 54:6 ESV).

Toben may never read this blog, and that’s fine. I still pray for him and his family and know that God is crediting His faithfulness to him. I am blessed to be someone Toben has touched as he does what God has called him to do, faithfully love his wife.

Blessings,

LGB

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Living in the Grey

One of my favorite books to read to my son when he was a baby was Dr. Seuss, “My Many Colored Days.” It’s a simple book that looks at colors and moods. Our copy didn’t survive three children; it was well loved and worn.

The pages that struck me the most where these: “Grey day, I look, but nothing moves today.” It had a grey owl. Amidst all these vibrant colors– there was a grey day.

I’ve had many “grey” days lately as I’ve struggled with depression and just the chronic nature of my life circumstances. Winter doesn’t help either does it? Without the sun shining much, many days truly are grey.

But as much as we like color, don’t we often wish that life were more black and white? We can read Scripture and find some clear indications on how we should live. .. but then there are the grey areas where Scripture is not so clear and doesn’t speak to an issue.

Should we move to this house?

Should we accept this job offer?

Do we continue that relationship with a toxic person?

Which diet or exercise plan do we embark on?

Should we go on an anti-depressant or gut it out?

Is this the best church for our family to attend?

How about this: Do I have grounds for divorce? How far do we have to submit to our husbands? How do we love someone who is abusive to us? Where is the line between healthy boundaries and sacrificial living? Do we have free-will or is everything for-ordained?

Grey. Cloudy. Oft-debated issues. Dr. Seuss took into account having “mixed up days” as well. . . but it was okay, because we all go back to being ourselves in the end.

But grey is a horse of a different color, isn’t it? There’s nothing definitive there. We might find some guidelines, but ultimately even prevailing wisdom isn’t always what God is calling us to.

Missionaries who sell all they have to move to a foreign land and live off sometimes unstable donations of their supporters. Wise? Only in God’s economy.

The wife who stays in a loveless marriage with a recalcitrant spouse who neglects her and doesn’t provide well. Wise? Maybe, in God’s economy.

The woman who serves and serves and serves and rarely ever takes. Is she being used and unable to say ‘no” or is she fulfilling God’s calling in her life?

Do you struggle with the grey areas? I do. Sometimes I want the line drawn more clearly, yet God calls us to lean into Him during the grey, and listen and heed HIS voice above even worldly wisdom. And then obey. Someday He will make it all clear.

Where is your grey area? Where do you struggle to hear God in the grey?  Just know – He IS there with you.

Blessings,

LGB