I FaceTimed with my friend who is in hospice today in the aisle of Target today. When you get the chance to speak to someone who is dying, you make do in the environment you're in. You don't really care if people are staring because you're crying into your phone.
I told him I think he's the kindest man on the planet. I even confirmed it with my oldest daughter. She's spent the night at their house so many times over the past 10 years, and yep, he never raises his voice.
And then, he spoke to me:
"You probably don't even remember this, Jen, but 10 years ago - we had just met at the pool for the first time - we were stranded with a dead battery, and you had just gotten back from a trip from Florida. Craig met us at the gas station and gave us a jump."
He went on, but this is what's important: Even though I didn't remember getting this phone call and sending Craig to help, he did. It was an act of neighborly kindness that he remembered for ten years. Ten years.
Our friends and neighbors get into sticky situations and they reach out for help. In our marriage, between the two of us, we can either complain and commiserate about the fact that someone needs us OR we can do exactly what the Bible says and spur each other on to love and do good deeds.
Before today, I had never thought about this verse in Hebrews being applicable in marriage, but when I think about all the times we have helped people in the past 17 years together, one of us has usually been:
Broke. (Ok, we were probably broke at the same time.)
But the other one? Thank God he or she, him or me, has been there to spur on the other one, to help in the face of hopelessness, to give in the face of depravity, to be a light in the face of sheer darkness. To bring life in the face of death, as in the case of that battery, as in the case of his up-and-coming-barring-a-miracle last breath.
We cannot breathe for him. We cannot cure his cancer. We cannot trade our life for his.
But we can live our lives sacrificially for his family, for those around us that God puts in our paths. We can cling to the promise that in God's house there are many rooms and Art will occupy one of them.
We can be Jesus to those around us. He says He is the way, the truth, and the LIFE.
Bring LIFE to your friends, married couples. Bring Jesus.
Spur on your husband.
Spur on your wife.
Love well and do good deeds.
Together, you make a great team.