He is weathered like a piece of driftwood…worn and tattered with age. His fingers are dark and rusty and twisted…the kind of hands and fingers that have worked hard and fast in a field or a factory. He walks with a limp. Age and time have worn him and show in his crooked back.
I wait for him every Wednesday with excitement. He is my friend.
The white car rounds the corner, and I see him with his hat on. His wife of many years sits in her spot in the passenger seat. She is always with him…always…except not today. I take a second look. She is not there.
He makes his way through my door smiling a smile that lights my darkest days. We exchange our greetings. He pulls his change from his pocket and passes the coins to me with his brittle fingers. I ask him where she is today…his wife.
His expression changes, and I wait. She is at home now. She can no longer ride with him. I wait…I wait for more. He looks into my eyes, and for a moment, I feel as though my heart may leap straight through my chest. He tells me she is now too sick to ride beside him.
She is not herself anymore. He tries to tell me what is wrong with her. She doesn’t know him anymore. She doesn’t know anyone. She is lost in her own mind, but he knows her…and he loves her. I can tell. And my swelling heart thumps so loud, I am afraid he can hear it.
In that moment, with the morning sun beaming through my office windows and shadows dancing around the room like angels and fairies, I see what I’ve never seen in him before. Suddenly, he is young and spry and speaks with a young man’s voice. In a moment, he is reliving the past with her, and I am soaking it in like cracked earth drinking drops of rain.
He beams like the sun behind him, and I can see it…that unselfish love. The kind of love you get from the Father to give to another. The all-encompassing passion for another human that you pledge to love in sickness and in health. And he does. He does love her, and I am blessed in that moment to share the joy and the sadness with him.
And I am thankful...thankful for God’s grace to live in this moment...to see God through a sweet man who asks for nothing and gives it all to his wife just as the Father gives it all to each of us.
My friend turns to leave, and I watch him slowly return to his car. I am filled up to overflowing with the lingering devotion left in the room. What a treasured gift to know the Father's love and to see it!
During this week of Thanksgiving, I pray we each take the time to find a moment of quiet to be with the Father and give thanks to the author of love. It is through Him, love flows from one to another and heals the broken hearted. May you be filled with joy and gratitude this week and soak up the gracious love of your Father.