Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless…
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5: 25-33 (NIV)
The scripture verse above is one particularly appropriate for today—if you’ll allow me a moment of personal reflection. It’s a reminder I have needed at times through the years of life with my bride of now forty-six years on this day. Maybe it will be a moment of reflection for you as well.
Thinking about our upcoming anniversary a few days ago, I don’t remember what led to the moment of reflection. I don’t remember whether we were watching a movie or reading together. We may have been just sitting side-by-side talking, or getting ready to turn in for the night.
But whatever the moment, she put her arm around me and in that maneuver her hand came into full view resting before me. That had happened, I’m sure, many times before, but this time, for whatever reason, her hand immediately became the center of my attention. Whatever the occasion or whatever we were doing, it’s what I noticed.
Her hands look a lot like what I remembered her Mom’s hands looked like. I suppose that makes sense. I remember when I first noticed her Mom’s hands, thinking about all that she had done with them through the years—and I can tell you knowing her as I did—it was all for good.
That’s what Lynda’s hand looked like as it lay there before me in that moment a few days ago. It not only was gentle and pretty—but it was good. Full of character. I took her hand into my hands, held it for a moment, looked on both the backside and the palm, stretched and straightened her fingers, and looked at the life-lines and finger nails.
It was the perfect snapshot of a long legacy lived full of doing good things.
For certain, celebrating forty-six years of marriage with her today, I can attest—for at least that many years and a few more before then when we began to date, and even before that for a few years when we were friends in high school—she has been living a legacy of good with those hands.
They might be carrying a few more lines and wrinkles now than when we were first married, but if so, they’re hard to notice. They might have a few more aches than before, from the years of caring, holding our newborn son or one of our granddaughters, and other loved ones, working, washing, gardening and planting, nursing her Mom or Dad and other sick family members and friends, cooking, doing needlework of all sorts and shapes, driving, reading to our son and now granddaughters, mowing and weeding, packing, ironing, moving, typing, squeezing, rubbing and tickling the backs of our young son or granddaughters to help them go to sleep, or feeding and petting our many family pups through the years.
But there are a few other personal—even sacred—moments I remember where the legacy of Lynda’s hands have left their most indelible impact upon my memory and life.
The first was when we stood together, just a few years out from high school, before her family, our dear friends, and the Reverend Al Vaught, forty-six years ago today, and shared our vows and exchanged rings—with her hands in mine—and in that moment committed in covenant to each other, and before God, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance, and for all eternity.
The next remembrance is in every moment when she has held my face and my head in the firm, soft and gentle warmth of her hands, conveying at just the right moment, an always present message of safety, security, of faithfulness and never-ending love.
And still another is in every recollection where I have watched her fold her hands on her lap, or clasp them together before her chest or face, in prayer to the one true and always present God who bound us together those forty-six years ago.
Still there and still having an impact for good in the world, in the lives of others, and, of course, in my life.
A legacy and anniversary blessing of good for now and forever.
Thank you, Lord.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2013. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.