Monday, November 21, 2011

Unconditional Love

Tonight, as I was tidying up my bedroom, I was sort of watching TV out of the corner of my eye, and caught a story about a blind dog and his "seeing eye companion". It seems a pair of Great Dane's in England were in need of new home, and the local news ran the story that one was blind and the other stayed close by his side leading him and helping to keep him safe. They showed video of the dogs walking and running together. They looked at content as I've ever seen a dog. The pose that stuck me most was of the blind dog leaning against the chest of the dog that was not blind. It was such a sweet fact, it made me cry.

As I watched this story my mind instantly flashed back to an elderly couple that lived in the nursing home where my grandfather lived before he died. The man seemed to be in very good health. He walked well, seemed to have a very sharp mind and was as kind a man as I've ever seen. The only physical problem was that he was legally blind. He could see well enough to walk around the nursing home, but he said he only saw shadows and could not read or drive. His wife however, was in much worse condition suffering from alzhiemers. She didn't talk much, she seemed scared most of the time. She needed help with feeding and dressing and just about everything else. The husband would sit ever so patiently, feeding her everyday and wiping her mouth. He would hold her hand and tell her she was "doing great". He was so affectionate with her that you couldn't help but pay attention to them. He told me one time that she had been an excellent wife. He said she had taken such good care of him and their family and now it was his turn to help her. The love he had for her was written all over his face, and with every bite of food he gave her and every pat on the hand, you could sense his devotion to his bride.

I believe examples like this are a way for us to examine what unconditional love really looks like. It looks like a dog leading his best buddy, a blind dog, on a walk. It looks like an elderly man feeding his wife and telling her how wonderful she's doing. It looks like a wounded soldier falling in to the arms of his awaiting family. It looks like a mother holding a child in her arms who has done something wrong, and needs forgiveness. It looks like a savior giving his life for the worst of the worst and never considering saving himself.

The good news is, the two dogs in the story found a new home and they were kept together. It's very unlikely that the blind dog could have survived on his own after being cared for so well by his devoted companion. In my own life, I can honestly say that there would be no way for me to survive without the unconditional love of God. He has lead me when I could not see which way to go. He has kept me when my mind was full of fear an doubt. He has given me purpose and most importantly, unconditional love. I want to experience the wholeness of God's love and I want to show the wholeness of God's love. Someday, when Bo and I are old (older), I hope that you find us sitting together, holding hands and knowing that we will never be alone as long as the other is alive. In the mean time, my goal is to take notice of these wonderful examples unconditional love, and to take notice of the unconditional love I have been given.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time to set the clocks back!

Wow, what an exhausting, but rewarding week we have had. Kayleigh and Gabe got the keys to their house, and we started working on it Wednesday. It needed a lot of work and some TLC or HGTV or something! Anyway, after many hours and a many sore looks great! I was so proud of how Kayleigh went in there and worked on it and made it so cute. She did a great job of taking what she had, and using it to make her little rental house a home.

I know she is looking forward to the wedding, but looking forward even more to beginning her new life. Life on her own with her new husband; life as an independent adult. I also want her to move on with her life and become a responsible adult, a young woman who loves God and puts His ways before hers. I want her to become the wife that God intends for her to be; bringing glory to God in the way she handles her household and the way she takes care of her husband and family. (The proverbial Proverbs 31 woman..pun intended) But I must admit, there is a little part of me that would like to turn the clock back 20 years this weekend, instead of just one hour, as the calendar has told us to do.

When my children were young I used to think how nice it would be when they could dress themselves, feed themselves and get themselves ready for school, then I looked forward to the day when they could drive themselves to and from all of their activities. Then I started looking forward to the day when they would make their own money and not be dependent on us.'s time to let my little girl turn loose and let her leave the nest to stretch her wings and make her way to the new life she is so anxious to begin. I will continue to pray for her and for Gabe daily, that God will protect them and prosper them and give them peace and wisdom. That he will bring people in to their lives that encourage them and make them better people, and I pray that they become leaders among their friends. That they help others, that they minister to hurting people, that their house is a house of prayer and praise to God for his goodness and mercy. I will pray that they have confidence in God's promises to them and that they are humble enough to ask for forgiveness when they make a mistake. I pray that they raise their family in the ways of God and that they find His favor and mercy in every area of their lives.

I can't turn the clock back 20 years, but I can trust God to make the next 20 years beautiful in ways that I can only dream of. No longer looking forward to the day when this or that happens, but living in the here and now and enjoying the blessings and trials that make this a wonderful life.