My husband, Wayne, celebrated his 41st birthday this week. Other than just loving that we have one more day to honor him and his blessing to our family, yesterday marked another really great moment in our relationship...Wayne and I have now lived longer with each other than without.
For us this has really signified something special in our relationship. It's hard though to put into words. It means that God has allowed me to dwell with him longer than any other woman, even his mom. It means that he knows more about me in that day-to-day way than any other person. We have a perspective on each other that no one else can know. We have knowledge of weaknesses, of strengths, of joys, of hurts, of memories, of each other...and though others have been through them with us, the only constant in them all is Wayne and I.
Which means that I know him...what he sounds like when he sings...what his eyes look like when he's tired or hurt...what he does that he hates...what he does that brings him more joy than anything else...what he's like when no one's watching and there is no one to impress...how you can tell when he's about to take a kid by the jersey and get in his face (in Jesus' name, of course)...
I say all this to sort of give you my credentials for what you're about to read. I really mean what I say when I tell you that I honor the Lord for what He has done to establish His Word by deed in my life through Wayne (and yes, I know better than anyone how blessed I am)...
Matthew 14:10-15 I know better the compassion of Jesus when He was tired or just needed a minute alone by watching Wayne come home to us every day of football season. Even after back to back to back 18 hour days, he walks in the door...sees us and has compassion...and stays up serving us until it is very late in the day. He isn't just a deacon in our church...he's a deacon.
Exodus 34:6-8 I know I can better rely on the steadfastness of God because He has placed this same Spirit in Wayne. It is no mistake that the steadfast love of the Lord is linked to His forgiveness in this passage. And I need it...the better you know me the more opportunity there is to see my sin and to have it affect your life. So, imagine the impact it's had on Wayne...except you'd never know it. One day we were asked for a class to discuss past hurts that had happened in our marriage. We talked about it the night before and brought together our lists...well, one of us had a list. Wayne went first and said he couldn't remember anything I'd ever done that had hurt him. (Yes...I tore up my list and asked for forgiveness for breaking 1 Corinthians 13.)
Luke 15:1-2 Even though we still don't love tax collectors, there are a couple of categories of people now that probably better describe the revulsion that people felt toward the tax collectors of Jesus' day. AIDS patients, mental homeless...those we cross the street to avoid.
Not at the top, but right up there, are guys like this...
Well, not during this picture...everybody loves a winner, don't they? But put them after the game in their hoodies, four of them walking down the street together, scowling faces, tattoos showing and watch those same fans lock their doors. Everybody wants them on their field, but not at dinner. Not Wayne...around here we just call them our guys. He loves these young men. Delights in them. It's amazing to watch. One day I felt that same impulse to grab the kids off the streets and lock the doors...until you see their whole face light up as they see him and yell, "Coach!" and start running to wrap him up in huge hugs. They want his delight and approval like they would a father. Makes me cry to watch. They couldn't pick a better one.
John 20:17 Which brings me to the last one...simply for the sake of space. I was drawn to Wayne from the moment I met him, but there is really one reason I longed to marry him as soon as he'd have me: I saw him with a child. A friend of ours in college became pregnant. The guy responsible was out of the picture. How would she finish college? It was Wayne who suggested to me that we help her out. So, we all worked out our schedules so one of us had Lane. When she needed to work, we made sure Wayne or I had off. Our class schedule was rearranged. Cribs were set up in each apartment. And I watched Wayne be a dad. I was amazed, amused, touched, encouraged...and huge hurts in me began to heal as I watched him sacrifice his life for a child not even his own. He has only become better at his role as Dad. My girls run at the sound of the door opening. Fight to answer the phone when they hear his ringtone. Pray with him every night. Lean on him when they stand beside him.
But when I watch him, I think...if he's that good at this...if he has figured out how best to care for our girls...if he knows what delights them and what needs to be taken away...if he inspires such trust and love...how much more my heavenly Father deserves from me. How much more should I lean on Him. Pray to Him. Jump at His voice. Fight to answer him. How much more trust should I have? How much more love and devotion? Watching Wayne with my girls makes me a better disciple.
There is a plaque in our house which reads:
Live in such a way
that those who know you,
but don't know God,will come to know God
because they know you.
That's what Wayne does for us...shows us God...inspires us to know Him better. How grateful I am for all the added praise to my God because I have seen Wayne's good works. I thank you Father for the blessing of Wayne...for giving me a life that has had more of him in it than without...for loving me enough to give me eyes to see past your gift of him to the real reason you gave him life at all. You are glorified in him. And we are grateful.
I love you, honey.