Thursday, June 9, 2011

Love, Be Kind, Forgive

Yesterday after I left the office, I ran a couple of errands before I headed home. During my last stop, I began to get hungry and decided to pop into a local restaurant for some soup. If you live in Chicago, I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking: Who has soup when its 90 degrees outside? I guess I do. When I walked into the restaurant, I immediately noticed a beautiful young mom with three small children. The mom was probably in her early thirties and she had long gorgeous blonde hair. Her two oldest were darling little girls in matching baby blue and white dresses. They were about 3 and 5 years old, with blonde hair too, donning pony tales with striking blue eyes. I then spotted her baby son, also beautiful. He was sitting in his carrier; happy as a clam and appeared to be 4 months old. This young mom and her three children eventually made their way to a table and after a while I could tell that they were waiting for someone. Then along came her husband and then I saw the most beautiful display of affection!

Her husband walked in and walked with purpose toward his wife and children to greet them. And the way he walked over to his wife and looked at her and the way she smiled and looked at her husband was amazing. Based on where I was sitting, I could see her face the most. Her eyes and face lit up when she saw her husband. She was beaming as he approached her. And when he got to the table, she stood up and just wrapped her arms around him and kept smiling really big. He hugged her tight and they kissed. Then he kissed his two little girls hello and made his way over to the baby to greet him too. Shortly after he said sweet words to his baby son, the wife hugged him again as if to say: “I’m so glad you’re here. I love you. You matter to me. I’m glad we’re a family.” I think that’s what that hug communicated. Her eyes lit up and she just kept smiling and she seemed so very happy to be in the presence of her husband. This woman had a really sweet spirit about her. Seeing this beautiful display of love and affection between this couple moved me. I have never seen anything quite like that, especially between a couple who has three children under the age of five. In fact it moved me so much that when I finished my soup, I approached their table to share my thoughts with them. Right before I reached the table, the oldest little girl who was sitting next to her daddy, hugged his neck and said: “I love you daddy.” Uhhh, that melted my heart.

When I arrived at their table, I said hello and shared with them that I was so blessed by their interaction and affection for each other and told them that the way they greeted each other was the most tender and beautiful display of affection I’ve seen in a really long time especially between a couple with three little ones. They both smiled and thanked me for taking the time to stop by to share that. I told them it was my pleasure, said goodbye with a smile and walked away.

As I drove away from the restaurant last night, I wondered, and asked God why I noticed this family. I wondered if God was revealing or teaching me something. I wondered if there was a lesson, something to be learned. Oh how I wondered because what I witnessed last night was so beautiful, rare and extraordinary. It’s not something I see every day. Then a few minutes later, I turned on the radio, tuned into 90.1fm and heard the commentator quote a verse from the Bible. It was Ephesians 4:32.

Be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. ~ Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

And then suddenly I remembered that in the book of Ephesians, chapter 5 to be exact, it says: Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands. Husbands love your wives. He who loves his wife loves himself.

I think that couple in the restaurant love and honor each other in a manner that is pleasing to God. I hope I never forget what I saw yesterday and I hope I never forget and always put into practice what the Bible says in the book of Ephesians chapters 4 and 5.

If you’re married and reading this, I hope this story inspires you to love and honor your spouse. And if you’re not married, I hope it will inspire you to live out what the apostle Paul admonishes in the book of Ephesians when you do marry.  And whether we’re married or not, I hope this inspires each of us to love always, to be kind and tender-hearted toward each other and to forgive each other, just as God forgives us.

Love and blessings to you today,

xx, Ruthie

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.