When Love is Found…

When Love is found and hope comes home,
sing and be glad that two are one.
When love explodes and fills the sky,
praise God and share our Makers joy.

I’m feeling very historical today. Twenty-five years ago, Jim and I were introduced at a Super Bowl Party. It took a year for him to ask me out (at the next Super Bowl Party) but he did and the rest, as they say, is history.

When Jim and I were a newly married couple, we were each belonged to a bible study, his for men and mine for women. There were several couples that made up the two groups but the patriarch and matriarch of each group was a couple by the name of Bill and Ilene Mackey.

There was at least twenty years difference between the Mackeys and the next couple in age and it definitely showed as they participated in group discussion. Usually, each of us would share our thoughts on a particular scripture or lesson and then Ilene in our group and Bill in his group would let us all know “how it really was.”

When love has flowered in trust and care
build both each day, that love may dare
To reach beyond homes warmth and light
to serve and strive for truth and right.

One day Jim came home from work, having attended his group that morning, and I could tell he had been chuckling about something that had been said all day. Now usually we spoke in generalities, to protect the sanctity and privacy of those in attendance, but I would tell this was one thing he couldn’t wait to share!!

“You’ll never guess what Bill said this morning?!” Of course I couldn’t but before I could even shrug my shoulders, he continued. “We were discussing how we “fight with our wives and” (I have to add that I was ready to react to this statement but fortunately he hurried on) “Bill said that when he and Ilene fight, she gets historical!”

I paused, then opened my mouth to correct him, but again, he beat me to the punch. “No really, we thought the same thing, but he said “Ilene gets historical…she brings up everything I’ve ever done wrong!”

Hmmm…I guess he expected me to laugh and now I certainly do, but at the time, I’m afraid, that statement hit a li—-ttle too close to home. Yep, I was a “historical” fighter also. Not only verbally, but I could remind Jim with one glance that I was remembering anything that might help me in my cause.

When love is tried as loved ones change,
hold still to hope though all seems strange,
Till ease returns and love grows wise
through listening ears and opened eyes.

This morning in church, I was reminded of a scripture that was read at our wedding. Like many couples, we chose I Corinthians 13, the “love” passage. This morning, as the liturgist read verses 8-13, I though hard about the following verses:

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (verse 11)

The problem was when this was read at our wedding, I hadn’t. I was still holding on to my “childish” ways. I took all I had experienced, good or bad, into our marriage and I wielded it like a sword anytime Jim and I argued. I felt I was justified in my anger or righteous indignation, not because of present circumstance, but because of everything my “childish” self was holding on to. I didn’t trust myself, so there was no way I was going to trust Jim.

When love is torn and trust betrayed,
pray strength to love till torments fade,
Till lovers keep no score of wrong,
but hear through pain loves Easter song

When we sang this song, When Love is Found, the line that stood out to me was “till lovers keep no score of wrong.” It took a long time and I can’t say that I’ve conquered it, but I have laid down my “sword of justice” and tried to remember the words spoken at my wedding. I’m no longer a child and have to leave my childish ways behind. The closer I draw to God, the easier this becomes. Whether Jim is right or wrong, I know that behind every action is one driving force…his love for me. It took years to recognize it; more years to trust it. Thank God I did both.

I think of all the people who have prayed for us through the years…all the petitions lifted on our behalf. How can I show my thanks? I think the best way is by doing the same. Praying for the couples I know who are struggling…and continuing to pray for strength in my own marriage. No, I’m not a child, but I will always be my Father’s child. I know that whatever He calls me to, He will see me through.

Praise God for love, praise God for life
in age or youth, in husband, wife.
Lift up your heart let love be fed
through death and life in broken bread.

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