Barbwire

Published on Feb 14th, 2018 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Barbwire

Barbwire Today is Valentine’s Day and it also happens to be my wedding anniversary. Thirty two years ago my wife decided that I would need help remembering the day we were married, so she chose Valentine’s Day hoping that all of the emails I would receive from Edible Arrangements would be enough to remind me that this day was special for another reason. The only regret, probably, is the muffs she chose for her bride’s maids to carry. They looked like monks walking down the aisle. Monks dressed in red satin with white fur balls wrapped around their hands.

Paul says that his only boast will be in the cross. So let me boast in the cross I have been called to bear (that joke just wrote itself). My wife, like many wives, works three and a half days a week at a Christian school as a bookkeeper and one other day a week at a couple of other jobs. If you know anything about Christian schools you will know that she does far more than bookkeeping. It seems that any job that no one wants to do...Nancy does. On Sundays she is either found in the Nursery, singing backup for worship, or doing special music. Immediately following the service, these next few months, she will lead our Easter musical. After coming home, grabbing a quick lunch and a nap, she hosts 8-10 people for our Open House. On Tuesdays, she attends small group with me. On Wednesdays she does AWANA. On many weekends we try to have someone from church over for dinner. For the past year she has showed great discipline in her eating habits. She is always busy with something around the house and is always there for her children and grandchildren. This past month she was asked to head up a Ladies Retreat at church. Even though this kind of thing is not in her general wheelhouse, she agreed. and did a great job. Each day, when she is ready to collapse in a chair, our Labradoodle brings her his ball. Before she settles down to rest, she spends fifteen minutes throwing his ball to him. Then she sits down and pulls out a cross stitch she has been working on for the past year and a half.

Nancy is not superwoman but she is a very humble woman. She is not driven to simply please people but she humbly serves others. She is willing and driven to do whatever she is able to do at her job and at her church in order to serve others. There is not a small group we host, or a small group we go to, nor a church dinner, that she does not bring something for others. I have never heard her decline to help anyone in any way and she often befriends those who do not fit in. I believe her humility is best seen in her great love for babies. She simply loves spending time and taking care of babies and young children. In all of our years of marriage I have only heard her ask for one thing. She desires to have a wood burning fireplace in her home one day.

I believe it is human nature to take people like my wife for granted. I know, at times, my children and I are guilty. In the world’s eyes she will probably never doing anything extraordinary or super. She will not be the leader that demands loyalty or the lead singer that awes everyone. Our home is always open but with a moose hanging in our living room...she will not be Joanna Gaines. But on those days when most of us flame out, she is there, opening her house, serving in nursery, doing her best to lead the choir, and doing whatever needs to be done.

I have recently been giving her a hard time because I think our dog runs her life. I’m wrong. Tucker does not dictate how my wife responds. My wife, in great humility, tries to walk in Tucker’s paws and then lovingly and humbly serves our dog. I know that he would love to take a walk but I open the back door and tell him to run around the backyard. She knows that he would love to take a walk and so she takes him for a walk. That is the kind and humble thing to do. Tucker is not driving my wife...my wife’s heart is driving my wife.

These thoughts are not given to simply boast in my wife. She has not always been this woman. God is conforming her into the image of his Son. Nancy has walked in obedience. She is up every morning, an hour and half before she needs to leave for work. She spends much of this time reading the Bible and praying. God has used this time alone with Nancy to shape and mold her heart into his image. He is shaping her heart to Jesus and is producing in her a heart of humility that is being used to serve many. God has taken who she is and is using her in ways that most people will never see. That leaves all things for his glory.

I see many more things than my wife sees. I walk into a room and I notice one hundred things. I have a conversation with someone and often pick up on a number of things. My wife walks away from the same conversation enjoying the time we had together. I sit in the backyard and I see the five projects that I have been too lazy to do. My wife sits in the backyard and enjoys the sun. Over the years I have tried to change my wife. I have tried to mold her into my image. That has been my sin. God wanted her just the way she was. It frees her up to serve Him and others in a different way than me. She enjoys people and enjoys helping when and where she is able. She may not “see” what needs to be done and aggressively go after it but that leaves her free to say yes to whatever she is asked to do. She is doing the one hundred things that need to be done so that there are only 5 projects left for me to fret about. We need more people like Nancy.

Take the time to notice people like Nancy today. Humble people who so willingly serve others. If your curious as to why this is called “Barbwire”, you will have to ask Nancy.

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