Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Celebrations of Few

Just yesterday, I was thinking about my dad. Actually, just this morning, too. I often think about the first man who held the center stage of my heart... for many reasons.

I received an email from FamilyLife today. It was an excerpt from Moments with You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. The story was of a young navy couple who, only 10 months into their marriage, were in a car accident. The wife, was left as a quadriplegic, legally blind and unable to speak. For 50 years, the husband has remained committed to his wife. He has taken care of her every need.

This month would have been the month to celebrate my parents' marriage union. "Would have" because cancer made it impossible for my parents to ever celebrate another anniversary milestone... let alone reach 50 years. Milestones are something to be achieved. It is sad because so few make the commitment for life these days. My parents, I was certain, would have been in that few.

Hearing stories of the faithful who make the commitment for life encourages my heart. While reading this story, my mind reflects on the love my parents shared. Cancer left my mom faced with the decision to show her love for my dad by caring for him in ways people usually train for. This decision was not a difficult one for my mom to make. My mom's decision was predetermined the day she spoke the words "I do". For better... For worse... In sickness... That's what love is. While some may have only been aware of her sacrificial love displayed during my dad's year of cancer, I witnessed it every day.

When a boy broke my heart in high school, my mom wrote me a poem. I imagine the reason she gave it to me was so I would understand God's message about guarding my heart. "I love you" is a phrase that can rock your world; both when used sincerely and when used without much forethought.

"I love you" - means I want your very best
"I love you" - means I chose you o'er the rest
"I love you" - it's not just some romantic phrase that I'll say while in a phase
But it's commitment; my promise to you

"I love you" - means I'll stay right by your side
"I love you" - is what Christ said when He died
"I love you" - means I want you to share how Christ my sins did bear
'Cuz it's commitment; His promise to you

"I love you" - are more than words I'll say today
"I love you" - will endure along life's way
"I love you" - whether happy, sad or mad, it's not just some passing fad
No, it's commitment; my promise to you

"You love me?" - Then together we will grow
"You love me?" - Christ in us His fruits will sow
"You love me?" - You'll forgive me when I'm wrong, we'll pray God will make us strong
Yes, it's commitment, this love 'tween me and you

We won't be throwing any 40th anniversary celebrations this year. However, I still celebrate the love my parents shared. My mom and dad may not have loved perfectly, but they knew that Jesus was the source of perfect love. They passed that love onto me and gave me a love to live secure in.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. 40 years is something you don't hear about much anymore. That's awesome that had the cancer not taken your dad, that they would have been celebrating 40 years! The poem your mom wrote you is full of wisdom-something to pass on to others. Thank you for sharing this with us.