The first gifts came packaged in the mail. He, thousands of miles across the sea, hiking in the mountains. Myself, a schoolteacher in the deep south, in the Crescent City. Boxes delivered on doorstep carrying flowers and chocolates. There was always this. And surprises that would show up in the mailbox. A John Piper book he knew I’d love. A Passion cd he thought would minister to my heart… Cardboard boxes from Amazon never looked more pretty. The nice little box that came from Mignot Faget… holding the tulip charm. My favorite. Always the flower he tries to buy for me.
Then there was the surprise waiting for me in my hotel room when I was fresh off the plane in the capitol city… 12-dozen paper-wrapped roses, bought at the outdoor market. His hiking partner had to help him carry them all.
But in those first few days, when we were finally face-to-face… when he couldn’t wait to give me my birthday present two weeks early… there he was, standing in the hallway…. he, with the giddy grin. Holding my present behind his back. Unwrapped, he handed it to me. My first climbing harness.
And so unfolded the tradition of being the recipient of un-wrapped gifts. But this morning…. a red bow.
He gives me so much more than earthly things. He gives and gives and gives…. isn’t this what love is?
Every day of our life together he has tried to give me what I want. Always showing the Father’s character. I could never out-give him.
He gives me shoulder rubs and foot rubs… when he is the one who has worked 60 hours in a week. He gives his service in helping in the kitchen and picking up where I lack… when he doesn’t even have time to keep the lawn mowed or piddle in the garage they way he always longs to do…
He gives me perspective… always that God is Sovereign thinking… even the day his own father left this earth… and he picked up my chin and picked up his Bible and smiled as he headed to his speaking engagement… no one there that night knew of our great loss just hours earlier.
He gives the kids horsey-rides when he’s worked a 12-hour day… and picks up what I forgot at the store on his way home from work… and tries to pick up his socks off the floor…
He gives me courage when I see his… when he chooses the adventure of un-known over security… when he chooses the hard path – that’s always what he wants. I’ve learned not to kick and scream too much… to enjoy the journey more… because of the gift of seeing it through his eyes… through that constant grin…
He’s given me bountiful blessings in these children we wrangle together… He gives me his heart.
This man. He is my hero.