Oh, man… Have you ever signed up to do something, forgotten to write it down and then only remembered it again, on the day of the event, when you saw your name printed in the program as the person responsible?
I was in Sunday School class when it happened to me. The person to my right leaned over and whispered, “I like your dedication for the flowers”. I responded with a half-hearted “Oh, thanks”, and somewhat puzzled opened the program for worship service and felt my stomach clench. “The flowers on the altar today are given to the glory of God and in memory of all Sailors and Soldiers lost in war, by Bill and Penny Hunt.”
It gives me some measure of comfort to know there are times in everyone’s life when things get crazy, priorities get scrambled and you begin to feel like a circus clown with too many plates to keep spinning. I was in the middle of one of those life out-of-balance times with family, writing deadlines, speaking and social obligations keeping me from participation in church activities. My absence had not gone unnoticed and now, as the crowning touch, I had dropped the ball with flowers for Sunday worship!
My first thought was to go AWOL, but too many people had already seen me for that to work. So, I excused myself, raced to the kitchen for a pair of scissors and was trimming greens from hedges at the back of the church when I heard a voice behind me. “What are you doing?” It was my husband and when I explained my contingency plan to fill a vase with greens and make do with them he laughed at me and said, “Put your scissors down, stop vandalizing the church grounds and come with me”. He led me back inside to stand before the altar where a beautiful, professional arrangement of flowers was already in place. “Now, if you think you can do better than that, feel free…”
Still holding the two pathetically short-stemmed camellias I had managed to scavenge, I slid my arm around his waist, leaned against him and sighed in thankful relief. Looking up at the gorgeous floral display, nearly audible words came to mind as I recalled standing before another altar with Bill about to make our wedding vows. “Two are better than one. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” I had really fallen down on this one but Bill had my back and without saying a word had taken care of everything and kept me from falling into a really embarrassing situation.
Like many married women I think of my husband as my best friend and like every military wife I have known times, long periods of time, when my best friend has been away.
It has been during those times that I have especially valued the love of my family and other friends.
You may not feel that way about your husband right now or come from a close-knit family with any relatives you would consider calling friends. On the contrary, you may have been terribly abused and hurt by your family. Perhaps you stand as your family’s only living member and deeply mourn the loss of those you have been separated from through death. You may be at odds with your family, thankful for the distance military life keeps between you and them or be so homesick for family your teeth ache…
Whatever your circumstances, please know and remember that you are not alone. If you are hurting today over a dysfunctional family, fractured relationships, abuse, grief, disappointment or loneliness God knows and understands what you are going through. He has promised to be close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.
Reach out accept the hand of God and make Him your friend. The book of Proverbs tells us when you believe in the life, death and resurrection of God’s only Son, Jesus, you have a friend who sticks closer than a brother; a forever friend who will never leave you, betray you, hurt you or forsake you who is only a thought away in prayer.
Best of all, He’s got your back! On the day you die and walk through the revolving door of this life into life eternal He will be there to cover for you, and keep you from falling into the unimaginable darkness of hell and total separation from His light and love.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Proverbs 18:24