I want to tell you a story about something I deeply regret. It happened years ago at the local farmer’s market of all places. There were lots of fresh vegetables and fruits and sometimes we had done some canning, though I’d much rather just go to the store. For whatever reason, it was a weekend outing.
I think I was sitting in the back seat when I first noticed the lady. She was perhaps a 30 or 40 something, sitting the passenger seat of an SUV and I’m not certain, but I think she could have been filing her nails. She was slender, moderately tan, barefoot.
And she had rings and bracelets, shades. I don’t recall her face. She probably had sunglasses. And she had her bare feet against the dash, and rings on her toes. Her husband was shopping and would ask her something. I don’t think she ever got out or I didn’t see her move.
She might point out a selection, and he made a few trips among the vendors and returned with her to drive on off. I told my mother, he probably did the cooking or the canning. I’m sure he cleaned house, too. At least it was my perception of him. I was always surprised to meet men who kept house and helped with children. It wasn’t what I grew up with.
Even though I was probably not even thirty, at the time, I was used to being the cook, cleaning lady, laundress, the chief cook and bottle washer, jack of all trades and master of none. I have repented over my misjudging this lady.
It was obvious, she was cared for. He was just doing some shopping as she relaxed. Her appearance didn’t make her cheap or tawdry, just in style. She was not necessarily spoiled or lazy, working her poor husband while she lounged, she probably did have loungewear and a box of chocolates in her bedroom. So what?
She probably took bubble baths and went to the spa. She had money, means, and the opportunity to be taking care of herself and letting her husband take care of her, too. And he did not appear to have minded. If they went home and she went and sat by the pool, he probably went to the kitchen and chopped up veggies and threw something on the grill, and some towels in the dryer. The kind of husband that Jesus would want for any woman, even if he did have an occasion bowling night or round of golf.
I truly misjudged her that day, and I am sorry. I must have misjudged him also. Because that day set me up. I, too, misjudged the Lord. Yes, it’s true. All He wanted was my love, and to let Him love me. I could not rest with my feet up, pressing on the powder and blush. No, I was running trying to please Him and everyone else. Trying to figure out how to earn a better living when He had made a way. How to be healed, when His back healed mine.
I couldn’t see me as beautiful because I looked through the eyes of others and my own and I condemned me to a life of grieving a lot of lost love. Love I desired and needed desperately. I should have looked through His eyes, as He fought to keep them open through blood and sweat on the cross to get a last look at His mother and friends, as the jeers and mockery rang out. Before He died for me. I should have looked through His eyes.
Years have passed and love was lost, but all hope was not gone. Because I began to rest and see me as He did, and if I sometimes felt as though I was on the cross the enemy crushing me, His resurrected body took me into an embrace, He touched me healed me, gave me His amazing grace and now I can sit at His feet, my alabaster box is broken. Or we can walk hand in hand as He leads me beside the still waters. He leans in to listen to me, is never to busy for me. Attentive and protecting, loving. That is just what he wanted husbands to be, to take care of things and free women from worry, to be a comforter as the Holy Spirit comforts.
So even if I relax or kick back, even with no toe rings, the Lord is there saying, ” You’re tired, you just rest. I’ll take care of it. ” And guess what? I’m not crazy, lazy or kidding you. I’m older and wiser, and I’ll just thank Him and let Him love me. And I love Him too, because He first loved me.