Sunday, February 2, 2014

Honor One Another

I almost couldn't blog about this one, but I'll give it a try.

I had planned to write a little about our current class study this morning. We're still in the middle of that unit called Allelon: One another.  Last week, we studied this verse:

Be devoted to one another in genuine love. 
Give preference to one another in honor. 
~Romans 12:10

There's a wonderful nugget on the actual meaning of the word honor in that passage, and I was going to yak all about it this morning. Something happened this week, however, that changed my mind.  Something happened that made me want to talk about honor in its simplest form instead.  It came after a conversation with the husband during our walk the other morning.

It was a silent walk. 
Then, as if out of the blue he said, 

 "I didn't truly love her at the beginning, you know.
 I can't say that I loved any of them. 
I couldn't love them. I didn't know them."

He was talking about his favorite old friend. You might  remember her. She has been the star of the show around here more times than anyone outside of my family.

I yakked about my stroll with her through the grand old house.

And I yakked about her 100th birthday party
and all about her antique twinkle.

And then, I intruded on this moment.

The weekly rendezvous between the gray haired lady 
and the dark haired man.

I told you at the end of that post that I was married to that knight in shining armor.  I'm pretty sure that was the first time I called him Sir Lotsa Hair.  She just called him her fray~end. 

They all do. He has a whole bevy of friends in that wonderful Sunday school class, a group of young ladies now between the ages of 95 and 102 (soon to be 103). They are the bright spot in his week, the reason he rushes to get to church early every Sunday morning.

He truly loves them. 

The other day on our walk, though, he said that in the beginning he didn't love them.  He loved the idea of them, and he certainly respected them, but the love?  That didn't come until he got to know them. His relationship with them started because of obedience instead. I yakked all about it in THIS POST so I won't do it again, but in short, he discovered  by Providence that they had trouble opening the heavy back door into the church. He began to wait by the door to open it for them, thus beginning a decade of doorkeeping in the house of the Lord.

He told me on our walk the other day that he happened to be studying Acts 6 at the time. As he considered  those old widows trying their best to get to Sunday school, he realized that opening the door for them was a way of making sure they got their bread. 

And so he did it.
Out of obedience to the Word.
(And no, he's not a deacon. He's just a simple man of God.)

This *one another* thing all begins with obedience, he said.  If we'll just do what God tells us to do, his Word will not return void. Opening the door to those widows opened a door of friendship. The friendship opened the door to love. What started out as something he did out of obedience became something he was truly honored to do.

There's a reason for this ramble this morning, and you've probably already figured out what it is. You see, last week, our old friend took a fall.

Oh, she's fallen before, plenty of times, in fact. You don't reach the fragile age of 101 without taking a tumble or two. Then again, you don't reach the fragile age of 101 without having the resiliency to lift yourself back up again.

She's done that.  She's the Unsinkable Old Lady, after all, born the day the Titanic went down. We've never been able to hold her down for long. Sometimes, though, even the most unsinkable ones among us just get weary.  After a while, they sort of earn the privilege not to have to get up anymore.  Last week,  the Unsinkable Old Lady was given that privilege.

Not that she sank, of course. Nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth is that this time, God himself did the lifting.  I guess He liked the feel of her in His arms because He kept right on lifting until He had lifted her all the way home.

We got the news not long after it happened, and I can't forget the look on  his face when I told him. It was the face of man who has lost something very dear.  He was quiet, even for him, for the rest of the day. Then, we got another phone call, this time from her family, and I got to watch his expression change to one of deep appreciation.

Love, you see, is not unlike the Word itself. If you send it out, it won't return to you void. He loved his old friend very much.  Apparently, she loved him right back and wanted him to know.

And so on Friday, the dark haired man polished his shoes and put on his best suit, and he kept his date with the Unsinkable Old Lady. Then, he had the honor of walking her into church one last time.

Rest in peace, old friend. What an honor it was to know you. 


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