From my journal a few days ago:
When I walked in, he was crumpled in his bed, his head small and buried in the pillows, his eyes huge behind his glasses. He looked lost and a little mental. He wore only a polo shirt and briefs-----no shorts. He was covered by thin white hospital blankets. "Hi, Sue" he said, in his abrupt, muffled voice. Since the stroke, his voice has changed.
"Are you getting up for dinner?" I ask
"No" he says
My heart sinks.
Something in me rises up in outrage, disappointment, fear. I want to chastise him, change his mind.
Something stronger, though, meets the flood of reaction and counsels me to hold my peace.
Peace......where is it?
My heart is so broken at the futility of his situation, all I can do is sit quietly and wait for the peace that has carried me through all the turbulence to re-surface.
It takes many minutes.
I am very quiet.
And then I start to weep, overwhelmed with sadness.
He is quiet, watching and waiting.
The tears are a wordless confession of my helplessness, and they speak volumes to him.
As I cry, I am relinquishing the bitter accusations, the assumption that he is "doing this wrong"
I am relaxing enough to consider that this may be exactly how he's supposed to go through this.
As I cry, I am admitting that, at the core, it is You, Lord, who is steering this situation, and if you are not revealing yourself to him in a way that looks familiar to me, it says more about my limited scope than anything.
The enemy attitude in my heart shrinks, loses its hold, slinks away. I am left with......Peace. There it is!
I look again at Stu.
We talk quietly to each other, I wish I could remember the words.
He has a gift for relating to me in my brokenness, it doesn't upset him.
In fact, it seems to bring out the best in him.
I tell him that although I dislike the circumstances, our relationship is so important to me that I push through them to stay connected. He makes me say it again, he loves it so much. I also tell him he is a good husband, and he makes me repeat that, too. "I know you wouldn't say that if you didn't see it." he said. True. I see it because of you, Lord. You are my light. Today I pray for as much of that light as you can allow me. The times are dark, but you are not.
For a short space in time, we are Stu and Sue, transcending earthly travail and reaching up to touch your face together, Lord. It's a promise from you. Someday we will live forever in joy with you. Until then, we keep the faith, each in his own Godgiven way. And we speak the truth in love, one to another.