Craig was going to be meeting me in just a few minutes; not only was my surprise ruined -I was going to be in big trouble! Not knowing if it would be a tirade, maybe a spanking, or a brutal "Stupid WOMAN" from him, I was cringing and cowering.
He came, he saw, he was silent. Calm even. Then he asked quietly if I was alright and how did that happen? No underlying daggers. I was weeping in shame and mortification not expecting the bucketload of grace and the armful of mercy. This became a cornerstone of the dynamics of our marriage. A pattern. Good ground to grow trust, intimacy and love. Since then, I've always been able to run straight into his arms, instead of away, no matter how ghastly whatever I've done has been. No shame. No fear.
Never one time in all of these 20 years has he ever mentioned this incident. He will be surprised when he reads it, for he probably forgot about it.
Last week, the windshield was icy on the car. He leaves for work at 4:30 and was probably in a hurry. Came in, filled a pitcher with warm water used it to de-ice and left the remaining water in it outside. It was freezing that day. I found my favorite pitcher, which is irreplaceable, with the bottom cracked off. I was so mad at his carelessness, mad he had used that particular one, just plain mad. He was going to get it when he got home......I had ammunition!
As soon as he got home and the conversation started.....the picture of that gash in his truck flashed before my eyes. I started doing 'transition labor' type breathing, bit my tongue,
told him I was sad about it but had a plan to use it out in my garden this summer to plant some flowers in. He smiled his dimpled smile, I think he knew how much I was struggling.
It will be a little graceful bright spot, a marker to remember grace, mercy, love, forgiveness and compassion. When we are young, these are just words. As we mature, they have texture. They have become part of the fabric of our lives, the strong threads, graceful threads.