My husband Norm and I have owned many a jalopy [junker] and used them for both local jaunts and long distance trips. I am a Ford by birth; though crank oil does not run through my veins, I have an affinity with Ford Motor Company by name only. Yet, I hadn’t the foggiest idea that I would one day consider myself a jalopy.
He said, “Grandchildren would ask, ‘Were you young once?”
With a thoughtful expression, he continued.
“You were young once.”
Agreeing I replied, “Yes, I was young once. Now I’m old.”
He was too eager to agree. “Yes, now you’re old.”
Of course, I could say the same thing of him. I don’t think either of us are contemplating a trade of our jalopies for newer models.
I am getting older; I hope I will leave behind a legacy of love and faithfulness.
“Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them (Revelation 14:13b NKJ).”
Stammering and wobbly kneed, a man and woman make a lifelong commitment. Exchanging wedding vows before God, clergy, family and friends, they promise to love and cherish until death do us part.
“You may kiss the bride!”
At the wedding reception, a photographer gets a close-up of the happy couple cutting the towering cake. Unwed girls scamper in an attempt to catch the bouquet and be next down the aisle. Well-wishers throw rice and mischievous friends tie cans behind the grooms vehicle.
It is official; the man and woman are now husband and wife. Upon arrival at the honeymoon destination, the groom checks in and escorts his wife to their room. Lifting and raising her up into his arms, he tenderly carries her over the threshold.
We are the bride of Christ. Though difficult to comprehend, God the Father has raised Christ’s bride and carried her up above…
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6 NAS).”
I yearn for the day when Christ will carry me over the threshold into my heavenly home. (John 14:1-3)
Is it a match made in heaven?
When love walks in, we hope and pray it is the till death do us part kind of courtship.
Is God in the picture, do we seek his blessing or do we issue demands outside his perfect will?
God knew precisely what and whom Adam needed.
“And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him (Genesis 2:18 NKJ).”
Father knows best how to bless.
“Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:22-24 NKJ).”
God brought the first man and woman together; he still directs singles to mates of fulfillment. It is worth the wait.
My heart throbbing in my ears, pounds out the message…
They have taken her away.
Emptiness in my stomach is not due to lack of food, but the absence of my bride of sixty-five years. Memories carry me back across decades to that first encounter, hearing her teaching a Sunday school class in a city mission. Her abiding faith anchors our family in storms of life.
Old age, an uninvited guest invades their lives. When did the falls and bruises begin? As aging issues progress, her health deteriorates to the point of not being able to turn over in bed. The contentious caregiver daughter-in-law is not able to lift her rigid body; bedsores develop confirming her need for professional care.
Will she be okay at the nursing home? What if she falls out of bed? Can they get her to eat?
Anxiety and bitter loneliness overwhelm him.
For more than half a century, we have lived, worked and aged side-by-side. Now, I stand alone in fear and deafening silence. I should be there if she wakes up. She’ll be confused.
He feels helpless, unable to turn back the clock, or restore her health. She once tenderly ministered to others as a home nurse; now with signs of dementia, depends totally upon strangers. Family members try to console him, with explanations that she rests in a safe place; she receives the attention she needs.
Stooping with weakened bones and a heavy heart, I walk the rooms of the house we shared.
Wish we never left the old home-place.
Several years earlier, they sold their family home, accepting the generous offer of a son and daughter-in-law to live with them. Paying their way, they willingly share social security money from a rubber-band bound black billfold.
He longs to rush to her side, hold her frail hand in his once more. Things he once took for granted, he now cherishes.
If only I could… pass my tea bag along to her for a second dunking, tussle her braided hair, rub her clammy brow and kiss her once rosy cheek…
Nursing home staff curtails visits; she needs undisturbed rest.
Does she even know I come? Lord, are you taking her home?
The facility promises to call if there is any change in her condition. A small table in the formal dining room holds the cold, indifferent black telephone. They vowed to call; he must not miss it when they did.
Waiting becomes an obsession; hour-by-hour, day-by-day, he stands watch and strains to hear the phone ring. Nothing else matters; he must know about his precious Belle.
He feels closed off from the world around him. Family members know the seriousness of his plight. Nearly deaf for years, his desire to hear the ringing of the phone seems unlikely. Hearing and understanding simple conversations are difficult under the best of circumstances.
It is amazing; during his vigil, he can hear the phone ring! He is heart of hearing. He hears with his heart what his ears no longer can. He deals with the loss of his love. Life goes on.
I am rocking on the back porch. Grandma enjoyed rocking out here so much. I miss her. I’m 90 years old, and hope to join her soon. Your aunt is addressing the envelope for me. [Letter that I received in 1968]
At age 91, he stumbles into my aunt and uncles bedroom telling them about a visit from an angel. Digitalis no longer strengthens his weary heart. It stops and he slips into eternity.
Hearing aids are beneficial to those who experience hearing loss. The heart is a hearing aid that does not require batteries; it keeps a steady beat powered by love.
Do you know anyone who uses on line dating services? We prefer to think matches are made in heaven, but some in loneliness turn to .com. Earlier outlets for finding a mate included Lonely Hearts Clubs or newspaper personal columns.
Match making goes back farther than we can prove; but the father of Leah, Jacob’s first wife, used deception to find her a man. (Genesis 29:16-28). Today she would likely be referred to as a plain Jane, with slim chances to land a man. The wedding night for Jacob and Leah goes beyond the worst blind date surprises. Seeing her in the camouflage of a bridal veil Jacob suffered from night blindness; he had an eye opener the following morning.
I find the old stories of mail order brides interesting. People corresponding by mail learned little about their prospective mate; they took the risk and arranged their marriage. Many things brought them together, including a deep desire for companionship. I’m sure the U.S. postal system offered no guarantees. The mail order arrangement brought perfect strangers together to form the binding covenant of marriage.
The Bible gives another vivid example of such blind trust. “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls (1Peter 1:8-9 NAS).”
Are you a Rebel or a Yankee? Geographical boundaries largely influence your choice of label. Most are pretty proud of that distinction. I don’t reside at the Mason-Dixon line, but I’m from the Northeast and my husband is from the Deep South. Before I ever saw his face I was very aware of his homeland. A Syracuse radio station hired him for the graveyard shift, and promoted him heavily before he arrived. The Rebel would soon be on the air.
Rebellion against God is not a slogan or promotional stunt. It is very serious to rebel against our Creator. “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion (Titus 1:5-6 NAS).”
Paul urged his co-laborer to choose church leaders wisely. As believers, we can not make children serve the Lord. We can guide them in hopes of stopping rebellion before it starts. Billy and Ruth Graham lived out their faith before their children. Yet, Franklin confesses to rebellion in his heart in early years. That rebel is now a humble servant.