I am a member of a particular fitness club in my area and I am a part of the racquetball community of this well-established club. I have made some dear friends as a member of this community. We play racquetball every morning at 6:00am. In between games the dialogue is rich. We talk trash, have fun, and at times get serious.
A few weeks ago in between games I was sitting next to a fellow player. He is a recently retired detective. For the purpose of this blog, I will refer to him as MT. We began discussing how he was getting used to retirement, and somehow the topic moved to our wives. I can’t even remember how we got there, but the discussion left me thinking about life and the things that truly matter. The discussion went something like this:
Me: MT has your wife adjusted to you being home all the time?
MT: Yes, even though she is still working we try to get as much time in with each other as possible…that stuff is so important…I still enjoy being with her after all of these years.
Me: You have a beautiful wife and you make a great couple.
MT: After all of these years I am still very attracted to her and she still turns me on.
Me: Wow! I can say the same thing about my wife. I am enjoying watching her get older because she is aging extremely well. I still love the way she looks. Her body is still tight and she too still turns me on.
MT: Yeah, it feels good to be able to say that after 37 years of marriage.
Me: Well we are only half way there, but I anticipate saying the same thing. Other than both of our hands starting to get the little crinkly look around our knuckles I really can’t see a major difference in my wife today than what I saw when I walked her down the aisle over 16 years ago.
MT: I am in the same boat. My wife is starting to get a few aging spots, but when I think about those hands that cooked my meals, worked in the garden, and took care of our children with so much love all of these years – it makes me want to just stay loyal to those hands.
Well there it was! I drove home and could not stop thinking about those final words. It made me think about my wife’s hands, and I knew I had to write about it.
My wife’s hands have cared for all three of our daughters with extreme love and care. I have watched those hands comb a ton of hair, make costumes for dance recitals, and teach our daughters how to make crafts. I have watched those hands bake cookies, make confectionary pretzels during the holidays and make oatmeal in the morning for girls barely making it out of the door.
My wife’s hands have rubbed my back during rough times in ministry. Her hands have held mine with tender love and care. Her hands have served me meals that those same hands have prepared. Her hands have clasped together as she has prayed and interceded for our family and me. My wife’s hands have proudly worn the ring that I placed on it over sixteen years ago and those hands have been the steady symbol of loyalty to me and reverence to God.
I feel like those hands are worth honoring. They are worth fighting for. I look forward to holding them into the twilight of our time here on earth.
The Book of Proverbs says it this way: “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth [italics mine for emphasis], a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.”
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work Young Goodman Brown, Young Goodman says of his wife Faith: “she is a blessed angel on earth…and…I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.” Those are my sentiments, exactly.