I have new neighbors that I have wanted to meet for a while, but the timing hasn’t worked out when I have seen them outside. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I had a neighbor with a caretaker or neighbors who were a couple. He an elderly gentlman I noticed enjoying outdoors in a courtyard area, she a companion, always by his side while also, I’m sure, enjoying a breath of fresh air. I told my Mom about this gentleman, that I wondered if he liked dogs, would Barney brighten his day, would there be an opportunity to meet them and befriend them. They are not my typical neighbors, and I was drawn to know them.
I’ve always observed “older” couples, ones who have an unspoken language, ones who enjoy each others company without saying a word and ultimately seem content with each other. What is it about them? An older couple on the dance floor are always my favorite, the “longest married” at a wedding who are the last on the floor while celebrating newlyweds to the couple at a no-name dance hall who can tell stories of the joint from their youth. There’s something about couples dancing together who have danced through life.
Today, I met my neighbors, he unspoken, she tenderly stroking his hair while giving me the first glance into their life. Having left their home to come here for medical care they have endured months in ICU and years in Assisted Living care; she never leaving his side, they never spending a night apart. Leaving behind a producing farm, their home. She just getting a kitchen again having been able to move out of assisted living and to an apartment. Their 45 year wedding anniversary approaching and she loving him all the same, even when the ways he can show love back have drastically changed. She speaking truth over me of God’s provision, not even knowing that I needed it today. He petting my dog, and giving a sly smile. She inviting me over for a visit, me blessed more than she will ever know.
It happens to be the 4th anniversary of my Grandma’s death today, she a servant to my Papa through ups and downs, and he now alone. He has amazed us all learning his way around the kitchen, making cornbread and steaks, picking up a dust rag, and doing laundry, all things she did for them for 50 plus years until she physically couldn’t any longer. I am fortunate to have watched love modeled in my home growing up and in the home of my Grandparents – none perfect, but today I was reminded of that love.
Ultimate love is only shown in a glimpse on this side of heaven. Perfect love was made known to us through Jesus. I am always reminded of that love when I see couples from young to old who sacrificially love, just like Christ loved the church. He delights in us: his bride, He sings over us: his joy, He pursues us and woos us to him: his ultimate love. My hope is that both you and I feel tender love of the One who loves us most.
Timing is everything – divine, not chance.