There is an older couple at my church that I’ve known for a long time (all my life). Over the years I had many occasions to observe their relationship and quite frankly, they were like most married couples. They worked, built a home, raised their children, and retired. But it’s been within the last few years that I’ve noticed how the husband has changed. His memory isn’t what it used to be and his mind is not as sharp as it once was. Unfortunately, this was made starkly clear one morning when this proud man was asked to pray to open up service, nothing he hadn’t done hundreds of times before. However, this time was different. He appeared lost and quite unsure of what he was supposed to do.
This made me sad, because this is someone I’ve known all of my life. Sadly, since then there have been other occasions where there has been no doubt that this man who could barely read when he joined the church as a young man and who stuttered but learned to clearly and thoughtfully profess how much God had blessed him, seemed to be slowly fading.
As sad as this is to watch I have also noticed something else – the love and protection of his wife. You see, she has not allowed her husband to miss a beat serving in the church he loves. She makes sure he attends every service with his trusted bible in hand, shoes shined, hair cut, and signature black suit.
It is painful to watch someone you love become forgetful, confused, and sometimes childlike. But this couple is an example of unconditional love. I’m sure at this time of their life there are more downs than ups, but over the years they would say the good times have outweighed the bad. I believe it’s those good times that has given them the strength that’s needed now.
Just recently on a Sunday morning I watched as the wife straightened her husband’s tie and gave him an offering to put in church. She smiled and sent him up to the front of the church to sit beside his fellow deacons. Even though the man she fell in love with so many years ago is slowly changing every day, the look of pride she had on her face when she looked at him has never wavered.
This is love.