Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Surprised by Love

Sometimes life takes you by surprise.

In January, the surprise was the closing of our church of ten years.  We were sad and in shock, wondering how things would unfold in the months to come.

This month, my husband was told he had a baseball-sized cancerous tumor on his kidney.  No symptoms, no clue.  Just a very timely CT scan, looking for kidney stones. Surprise.

I tell ya, though, there is something that has surprised me more than these.

That is the love of others. And what is has done for us.

This month the kids and I are memorizing Bible passages on LOVE.  You know, Valentine's Day and all...And I suppose I am learning right along with them.

God has a way of covering so much more than just the immediate need, does He not?

He is softening this independent heart and teaching it His ways.  I didn't see this coming.

The texts and calls and emails that flooded my phone directly following the news from the Doctor.

Our ten beautiful children, who stand ready and willing to help out or to drop their plans for the good of their Dad (and the good of us all).

The meals that just showed up at our door, before Kenny even had his surgery scheduled.

The overwhelming amount of offers to watch our children, help us clean, give us rides, run errands for us.

The filling-up of my children for four to five days, by three dear families, as we farmed them out during our hospital stay.

The dear friends who sat with me for hours in the waiting room, keeping me comforted and encouraged.

The visitors, who drove out to Aurora just to see their friend and pray for us.

That softness in me, that completely took over the minute I saw my husband of 22 years lying face-up on the gurney, white as a ghost.  A softness that has been missing for the last few years, as the demands of raising a family have taken over.

And as more meals pour in, some from people who have more than their share of trials at the moment, I find myself wondering if maybe I haven't missed out these past years, as I insisted on carrying my burdens alone.  Independent people are like that, you know.  I can DO this! Just watch...

It's difficult to receive.  Humbling.  Awkward even.
Especially when you're out of practice. When you really don't mind being the Lone Ranger. When life is constantly busy, noisy, demanding. And you just have to do it.  And do it well.

I told Kenny he reminds of George Bailey in 'It's a Wonderful Life', when all the money he needs, and more, pours in at the end, just as he needs it.

I often overlook the scriptures on love.  Let's read about DOING something!  Funny, but our current scripture is 1 Corinthians 13.  Love DOES. It SHOWS.  It ACTS.

The people in our lives are DOING.  They are SHOWING.  They have ACTED.

And it seems, by this, they are allowing this Mama a lovely view into the world of the love of God.  A view I have not often let myself see.

The scriptures are coming alive to me, as I see them up close and personal.  You can talk about loving one another all you want.  But living that love is where the power is.  Meeting the needs that you see. Working as the hands and feet of Jesus.  His body, caring for itself.

It's a beautiful thing.