From the moment I could remember, my grandparents never slept in the same room. The old beloved farm house in Clinton County, at the end of the upstairs hall, to the left my granddad slept, and to the right, my grandmother. I remember wondering about this fact, but....as I grew up, I noticed other things, like the way they did their own activities separately, banter some with each other, and quite frankly, John annoyed Betty. I'm smiling now as I type this because of the memories...these two stubborn, rascally, strong-willed, yet warm people, had a history, a past, I knew nothing about, but, could see slightly, as a child, yet knowing this, also knew, they loved each other. They loved each other enough to remain committed to their commitment, that I knew. Regardless of mistakes long before I was around, they loved each other enough to remain committed. Their marriage wasn't a picture of perfection, rather a picture of steadfast commitment.
In 2000, she was diagnosed with cancer. While in the hospital, grandpa came to visit one day and literally dropped dead outside her room...cardiac arrest, heart stopped, dead. They were able to perform CPR and bring him back. I remember wheeling grandma into the ICU to see him, face covered with a mask as to not come in contact with any unwanted germs, her eyes spoke volumes. She loved him. It wouldn't be too much longer after this, that we all knew she was near meeting Jesus. I watched grandpa shake his head and weep in the waiting room, sad, regretful it was her and not him, sad she suffered, sad to lose the woman he loved, a lifetime of memories.
These images forever etched in my brain, and two amazing people who weren't saved until after they were married, imperfect with a long life together of good times and also bad, who remained committed until death. And through all that, love was what held them together. A love for each other, but, ultimately, their individual loves for Christ.
Often times we don't know how events in our lives affect us until after...memories remain, reflection occurs, and we're able to see. It's almost like washing a window in the spring after a dirty winter...the glass becomes clear and we're able to see so much more, so much brighter, so much clearer.
It wasn't until after these events with my grandparents that I truly understood the deep love of my Savior...the Savior I'd run from for years, unable to accept His true and pure, perfect love. How on earth could he possibly love me? Mistakes, oh the mistakes...the dirty feeling, the inability to forgive and love myself...
"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow..."
Every so often, I have to wash the windows to more clearly see His perfect love for me. Satan loves to dirty up my windows and cause me to questions Christ's love for me. I wipe away the dirt and see I'm white as snow before Christ because He.literally.washed.me.clean.with.the.cross.
"Do you see this woman ("a Sinful Woman")? I (Jesus) came into your (Peter) house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little. The He said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.'"
His blood cleaned me...no sin uncleanable. There is no greater act of perfect love. John and Betty knew this. Their love for Christ who forgave them, visible in their commitment to each other. Now in heaven these two, experiencing the love that never ends at the feet of the One who perfectly loved them first.
Go see what my sweet friend Steph is writing about at: www.solidjoysandlastingtreasures.com