Marriage: Shouldering the Load

8:35 AMHeather

I witnessed a health care miracle yesterday.  Actually, I experienced it personally.  In June, I started with a new neurologist who has worked wonders to improve my migraines and overall health.  And, yesterday, I had a follow-up appointment--that was where the miracle happened.  My appointment was for 10:00 a.m.  I was taken right back, saw my doctor immediately, and was in my van, done with the appointment, by 10:24!   I had allowed for the typical long wait time, and hardly knew what to do with that unexpected free time?

Shopping, of course!  Off to the Dollar Tree in search of some supplies for the upcoming CREATE Christmas craft event.  I had been looking for about a year for a particular item, and had hoped that eventually Dollar Tree would again carry it in stock.  Sure enough, yesterday was my special day--first no wait time at the doctor, THEN, I find the elusive craft item and hit the mother load?  YIPPEE.  (On a side note, if you are in search of a serving piece of any kind, you might want to avoid the Dollar Tree on highway 183 and Brown Trail--because I checked out with 136 of those bad boys).

While I was loading nearly every last serving piece into my cart and avoiding eye contact with the gawking employee, I noticed this sweet older couple.  The lady somehow reminded me of my Granny, and I realized she had a cast on her wrist.  While she searched the aisle for an item (I was praying it was NOT a pie server), she was calling back to her husband.  He was a few aisles over, calling questions to her.   When I came toward the check-out, I saw him.  Bless his heart, he was permanently stooped over.  He was bent forward, in a position you might take to check a lower shelf.  And, he shuffled along pushing the cart for his wife.  I wondered what injury or ailment caused this uncomfortable situation for him?  I wondered how much life had happened in his obviously many years that led to this problem?  

I was taken with how this couple treated each other with such kindness and respect.  It made me wonder how many storms they had danced through together?  How many joys had they shared? How many children and grandchildren filled their lives?  When they said they wanted to grow old together, they were committed to making it happen.  I wondered at their uknown story, and had I been more bold, perhaps I would have struck up a conversation.

Once I had thoroughly frustrated the customers who were unfortunate enough to be in line behind me, I left the store, weighed down by my treasure trove of serving pieces.  When I pulled out of the parking lot, I saw the couple again.  They had pulled out from Dollar Tree, and driven down a few doors to the Subway.  I watched as the husband shuffled along slowly, with great effort, towards his wife's side of the car so that he might open the door for her.

And it dawned on me.  Here he was, bent over, hindered by physical pain and discomfort.  Yet, he still took the time to tend to his wife's needs.  He continued to serve her, despite the cost to him or the cross he was bearing himself.  Her put her first.  He showed love, even when it wasn't easy--even when it would be perfectly understandable for him to put his own comfort first.

INTENTIONAL challenge:  I am so convicted by this picture of marriage that I saw yesterday.  This adorable little couple were a picture of shouldering each other's load--till death do them part.  I would venture to guess that might be a big secret to their marriage success.  Yet, here I am, bent over with my own burdens.  Instead of refusing to let that be an excuse for not tending to my husband's needs, I focus on my own needs.  I stoop over, under the weight and stress, and I ignore the fact that my husband's needs are just as important. I get out of the car and shuffle into the store--leaving Chris to open his own door and find his own way.  Lord, help me to put my husband's needs at the top of the list!  No matter my own burden--let me remember HIS burdens and my call to help him carry them.

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