I will be honest; I have wanted to write about this for a while. There is a gentleman in our church who has impacted my life and my family through the simplest thing. He loved his wife.
For years, by chance, we sat behind him and his wife. His wife’s hearing was bad and he would spend the service helping her find the song in the hymnal or repeat what the Father had said, “He said there was going to be donuts after the service.” Not once did I hear an attitude of frustration leak into his voice. During the winter he would help her with her coat. They would hold hands during the service.
We attend a catholic church, and he would shake all of my children’s hands during the moment when the congregation would offer each other the sign of peace (shaking hands and repeating, “Peace be with you.”). Through the years we would run into them at the supper market. He would always spend a moment and a smile with us. They were married for 50 plus years.
He lost his wife a little over a year ago. And he now attends Saturday night services. He still stops to talk and smile with us when we attend Saturday services, too. I haven’t had the courage (but I plan on telling him the next time I see him) to share with him how his everyday love for his wife was a real example for me as a husband and person. His love for his wife was visible and constant. At different times I reflect on his example as a reminder that the strongest way to build my marriage and life is in how I love everyday.
Our lives are living examples for everyone around us. Or everyday practices mean more in the long run than a single grand moment. Not that single moments don’t make an impact. But his example was so true, so powerful because it never faltered. This world can pull and push and drag us with different influences. We can spend our days being pushed and pulled and dragged through this life. Or we can stand strong in our lives. Loving those that matter most to us every single day.
To gently whisper, “Page 87, dear.” Place our hand on her shoulder, pull her close, and sing as if we are the only two people in the church.