She held his hand like she never wanted to let him go.” Those words replayed over and over in my mind as I cut the grass on a cool, overcast Tuesday morning. Unusual words from my husband, and they caused me to think and to pray.
“Lord, is that what my husband wants – to know he is so deeply loved and appreciated that I never want to let him go?” The question simmered at the back of my mind for a couple of weeks. Then one afternoon I met a friend at the park and she asked how I was doing, wanting more than a cursory response. When I hesitated and shrugged, she questioned further. It had been a long few days of physical pain and I’d become quiet. Communicating when the pain is bad is difficult and often leaves me feeling isolated. Thoughts spring to mind, but speaking them aloud requires more energy than I’m sometimes willing to invest.
Ouch! Those three small words – willing to invest – sliced through my quietness and right into my soul. It was a new thought. Never once had it occurred to me that selfishness had crept in when the pain was bad, and the realization that I’d allowed it to sneak in unnoticed for so long seared my heart. How often over the past four years had I expected my husband to know what I was feeling, to understand my sense of isolation, to somehow figure out, without being told, how difficult communication can sometimes be for me? Too often. Far too often.
I’d been expecting my husband to read my mind, and he can’t. Only God can do that, for He already knows every thought I think, every word I’m going to speak before even one of them is on my tongue, and yet that isn’t enough even for Him. God doesn’t want a one-sided relationship. He longs to spend time with us, longs for us to hunger and thirst for His Word, to come to Him in prayer often throughout our days – Scripture says, “continually,” longs for us to sit at His feet and simply rest in His presence. If all that is true of God, how can it be any less true of my husband, who was created in God’s very image?
Wow! My lack of words wasn’t isolating only me, it was isolating my husband too, and suddenly his words began to make sense. We all – every single one of us – long for relationship – deep, personal, intimate, genuine, honest, vulnerable, soul-to-soul connection with God, and with each other. We long to walk side-by-side through this life, loving one another so deeply from the heart that we never want to let go, caring about one another so fully we listen intently for the cry of their heart, and beginning to understand at a level only possible through Christ what it really means to be a child of God, a member of His beloved family, brothers and sisters with and in Christ.
By Cindee Re