I have been going to church with Dale for well over a decade now. It is his home church, the one he grew up in. Since I have joined him I have noticed a lot of things. How people are, how they "treat" their spouse, etc. The church has gone through many different changes. People have come and gone. But there is this one couple that keeps on coming since I can remember. Let's call them P and B.
They are an older couple. P was always the nicest, sweetest lady. She would always come up to us and greet us, and ask us how we were doing. She got to know us and genuinely cared (not everyone does, you know)! B was quieter, but was always good for a great smile and a handshake. It has been years since we have been attending the church and greeting this special couple. What makes them special???
P developed Alzheimer's a few years ago and she got bad pretty fast. She soon after had a stroke. B could no longer give her all the special care she needed so she went to live at the local nursing home. B still faithfully comes to church every Sunday and most if not all every church gathering we have and he has P right by his side in her wheelchair, expressionless face, and silver hair.
He spends all of his time with her. I hear that he is at the nursing home most of his time. He doesn't miss a meal with her and he will just sit and enjoy his time with her. He doesn't care that he has to wipe her chin, or reposition her arm, or help her in or out of a wheelchair, or that they don't have the relationship they once did, in which they can't have a simple conversation. He has still got her and she still lights up his life. You can see it on his face.
He shows her nails off to everyone after she gets them done and brags on her as she tries to make eye contact and smile. His hand never leaves her thigh when her chair is next to his spot in the pew. When the music plays he pats the beat along, his hand never leaving her thigh. He LOVES her and it is genuine and obvious to all.
That is the love I hope to express someday. The true love I actually feel. Someday when I get over my bullheaded, going to out do him, immature ways! I like to say I keep things in perspective and not take things for granted. But that isn't always the truth. There is one person I take for granted more than anything else I have. It's not fair to him and he doesn't deserve it, but I do it.
Thing is I am modeling behavior to my children and that is not the way I want them to treat the people they love. And I am guilty for showing it. I'm seeing it in Wyatt sometimes, which drives me beyond crazy. His tone, the looks, some of the things he says. I think where in the world does he get it. Then I take a step back and realize it comes directly from his mommy. I'm not proud of it, but it is true and if anything I want to correct it before it's too late.
This couple has been a ministry to me alone, never mind the pastor or pastors, the building, the congregation. It is this couple that has taught me in the smallest of ways how to express genuine love. Now it's time to start working on those walls I've built!