I want to preface this story with a brief background. I love my husband, but even the best marriages experience the ebb and flow of deep love and the ability to work through conflict, and our marriage of almost three decades is no different than most in that department. The Lord, in his wisdom, has allowed physical affliction in both of our lives, and I believe, he uses physical suffering to continue and/or finish the work he started in our lives many years ago. In short, God has been a faithful father to discipline us when needed and to bless us even when we don’t deserve it. This short story is about something that happened recently that I will treasure for a very long time.
IT HAPPENED IN THE KITCHEN
I’m happy tonight … oh, I’m happy “thank you, thank you, thank you” God that I can truly feel this emotion again. It’s 7:20 pm on a quiet (rare for us) Saturday evening …. For the past few hours, my husband and I have been in different parts of the house. Me …. Doing last minute laundry and household chores and he upstairs relaxing after a busy day of seeing patients. One of my chores was a quiet one of folding laundry and I decided to listen to some of my favorite music. I was immersed in folding the laundry and enjoying the music when suddenly my husband walked past me and entered the kitchen. The song that was playing was just so beautiful that I thought it would be lovely to dance to … a quiet, slow, dance. Then I thought “why don’t I ask him”? Seconds passed, and I didn’t ask him; instead, I reached out my hand to him, and he reached back …. and we danced.
We danced in our kitchen and we danced in our hearts. Tears slipped out of my eyes as I pictured the many times he had held me like this in the past. And then: it was over and then we walked back into reality and began talking about the shopping list for the children’s visit in a couple of days. We made the grocery list together and then my husband left to get the shopping done. After he left I turned on that beautiful song and thought back on that impromptu dance between us. That rarely happens, and so I mused “What just happened; what was that?”
Those few moments we spent together were different, special. They were. Somehow I just felt, well, a peace that I have not felt in a very, very, very long time What was that? That. Was. Love. That dance was the culmination of every joy, every sorrow, every tear, every scream, every laugh, and every other emotion resident between us these last 28 years. That dance was like tiptoeing across the ancient stones of our past, the tender treading where we are now, and the leaps we’ll take as we journey onward together. It was, dare I say it? Magical. A better word would be a word one of my dear friends uses often “mystical”. There is something so mysterious about love. So much we don’t know (but think we do) … so much to discover about one another, even in the golden years.
So, now with my husband gone, I returned to my chore of laundry folding and played that beautiful song once more; and while listening it suddenly occurred to me that I feel happy. To be honest, I haven’t felt “really happy”, a DEEP happiness, (not like what I experienced just a few minutes ago), for so long I can’t remember. But right now I feel such deep happiness and contentment, and I knew I had to stop everything and record the wonderful emotions flooding my soul. Even now as I quickly dump on (digital) paper what is pouring out of my heart, I have tears AGAIN streaming down my eyes. Even in the midst of the mundane task of folding laundry I was reminded how I felt when it was just me and The Lord in my single days. The emotion of happiness I experienced way back was the same I experienced today, and both times the happiness was accompanied by peace. I’ve heard from people much smarter than me comment that a person can have JOY but not be happy. Because true joy can only come from having a relationship with Jesus, I can say that I’ve had joy for decades. But I can honestly say that although I’ve had joy, the emotion of happiness has often eluded me. So, I’ve told myself “that’s okay, happiness is fleeting, joy is eternal”. And I believe that with all my heart, I do; but, oh how I wish that tonight everyone could feel as I do. Even if just for a few fleeting moments. Father God, you know, right now who needs a touch from you. Would you call them Father? Would you help them find you? Would you heal them? Would you gift them with happiness such as I have experienced this night.
I think what happened in the kitchen today was “kisses and hugs” from God, my Heavenly Father lavished on me through the tenderness of his gift to me, my dear husband. He whispers to us that He sees us, He Loves us, He still has a wonderful plan for our lives, He sees our tears and He hears our cries, He sees our loneliness, He sees the sorrows upon sorrows and the joys upon joy. He sees our failures, and He sees our successes. He is like an oasis in the sun. Let me rest here awhile Lord God. … and thank you Lord for loving me, even when I was unloveliest of all.