“We'll jump in the car as soon as we hear she's in labor and make our way down there, right?” I looked at the man who had volunteered the words spoken, and reiterated what I'd just heard him say.
“We’ll jump in the car as soon as we hear she’s in labor and make our way down there, right?” I looked at the man who had volunteered the words spoken, and reiterated what I’d just heard him say.
“You mean you want to go down there right away?”
“How can we not?” he clarified.
Let me tell you how it’s possible to not go down there…“right away.”
The phone call came early one morning. So early, I wasn’t certain the phone had made the sound I thought I’d heard. Soon, the fog horn from the kitchen phone began blasting away as well, and by the time I made my way down, it had been well established that indeed “we” were in labor.
Now, it just so happened that another needed to be dropped off at college which would put us approximately three hours closer to the twelve hour away destination where the birth was about to occur. And so…I popped the question.
“Are we going?”
“Now?” was all I heard.
Let me just say that I never knew it was possible for three little letters to build a forty foot wall so quickly. And, what’s more surprising was that I didn’t realize the wall had been built until days later. Although frustrated and disappointed that he, for some odd reason, wasn’t able to put all of the farm chores on hold within hours, leave his co-workers to fend for themselves at work, and miss a funeral of someone who’d died unexpectedly...I tried hard to understand and process it rationally. My flailing attempt to argue the final point was simple. “The person who died will never know you weren’t there.”
But, he was methodical and adamant. “She was due next weekend, that’s what I had planned, so that’s when I’m going.”
With that…we loaded the car and left grandpa behind. Giving him grace, he did support our every step, called for every detail, and delighted in the stories we were privileged enough to take part in…and all was well…or so I thought.
Pulling into the driveway weak and weary from the twelve hour return trip home, I waited. I waited for the front door to fly open and my superman to greet me with arms outstretched, ready to help unload any burdens I’d hauled back. As my legs hit the ground and still no sign of him, I piled in the door with the luggage. There, before me, he stood methodically finishing the dishes. Blankly I stared; blankly I set my things down, and just as blankly, I retired for the evening.
The next morning as the waves of silence spilled over that forty foot wall, it wasn’t long before he understood the depth of my frustration.
The best thing about that man I married is his ability to catch on quickly. The next evening as my car pulled into the driveway from a short trip to town, out he tumbled onto the lawn while sprinting over to the car, grabbing each grocery bag and announcing supper was ready.
Truth was he didn’t have to work like that to be forgiven. He had confessed; I had confessed. He was forgiven; I was forgiven. But the fruit of love happens to be faith in action poured out. And so, I received what he poured out...in love. 1 John 4:19 affirms how any of this is even possible. “We love because He first loved us.” Amen.
p.s. Grandpa's making his trip down on the official due date...bringing grandma along for the ride.
Kathleen lives on the family homestead in northern Minnesota with her husband of over thirty years. The youngest of their six children recently graduated from H.S., thus making room for more frequent visits for those wishing to return to the nest every now and again. Kathleen is a full time teacher who enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. Theology in the Trenches encapsulates personal stories and experiences that have a common thread with the hearts of others. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org