we were talking about the acronym the pastor gave us, reminding us about the ways of love, how they look and feel and act.
we were sitting in a small room, circled together, thinking on how we distribute love and who we know that does it so well.
"ian, how are we to love our spouses?", our group leader asked.
"thinking of them before yourself."
we kept reflecting on love and what it looks like and then what i always fear happened, as i saw the effect of a catheter that decided to stop working. i saw on the floor what is always on my mind in public; i saw my own example of what joni eareckson tada has spoken of many times before, the fears that remain into adulthood when disability lives in your body.
i left the room quickly, discreetly, to find what i needed to hide it, remove it, fix it.
when i came back into the room, she stood up and moved closely to us, gently reminding us that we were family. gently reminding us that we need not be embarrassed, that they loved and would help us.
and there it happened, the love that we were speaking of, the acting out of Jesus death and what it did for us. they helped us to the car. they cleaned up after us when we left. they joyfully loved.
in the safety of our car,
"ian, i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry that those embarrassing things happen."
then tears because it was a hard week and because lies were making a home in my heart.
"ian, i don't understand this. i hate this."
"joy is closer than you think."
"how can you handle this? i'm so sick of this brain injury."
"God gives me joy in the stupid things, like caths breaking."
i asked him how, because i didn't get how he could be laughing, while he sat in wet sweat pants, and while i cried.
"because this is all so fleeting."
then quietly, in our little white car, his truth knocked out the lies in my head. his Psalm 73 truth cut through the lies that i was believing.
and there, in the midst of the week that was holding anything other than hope, i experienced the little miracles that i had read about earlier that morning. the little miracles of hope.
in the midst of a week of crying and longing and heaviness, the miracle of Jesus, living out in my husband, living out in our small group, who entered into our lives and put on Jesus love instead of selfishness or judgement.
and deep inside, a little spark grew, just a fraction, but enough to remind us.
"God is in this."