6:33 AM and I've been awake for 3 hours. This is completely normal for me (NOT!!!!). I'm sitting here by the fire, which Beve, stumbling around in shorts, t-shirt and no glasses, kindly cleaned out for me, then made me a cup of tea before saying, "I think I'll go back to bed for a while if you don't mind."
He was just so disoriented. Seeing me awake at 4 in the morning when he's usually the one who's up and getting to it (whatever it is) while I'm heavy in REM sleep can do that to a man. But for the last couple of days I've been trying to get myself back on some kind of schedule that looks like an adult human being's. By this I mean that I don't take multiple naps during the day. However, apparently this is backfiring just a wee bit, since I'm falling asleep around 5:30/6:00 PM in the evening. Waking up at 4 AM. Not exactly a schedule I'd like to continue, unless I want to take up baking or newspaper delivery or something like that.
I got to thinking about Beve going off into the world so early each morning while I'm still deeply asleep, and how I just let him go without thinking a thing about it (obviously). When we were newly married, I was a prayer warrior for my husband. I mean, he didn't leave my sight without me stopping whatever it was I was doing and praying for him. In fact, the year before either of us knew we would ever be more than friends God put it on my heart to pray for him. Beve was living in Finland at the time and I was clear across the globe in our home town, and I can tell you there were times when God woke me up with a start from a sound sleep if I hadn't prayed for my old friend that day. Woke me so hard and clearly that I got down on my knees right then and prayed HIS heart out for the not-yet-the-Beve and whatever it was he was up to that day in Helsinki, Finland.
But, here's the honest-to-God way of things in a long (even loving) marriage. A person gets lazy. At least I have. I've taken that call to pray for my Beve lightly. I do it...but not daily. Not with the same--'this is my calling' just as much as his going out and DOing is his calling. But it is, you see. Doing is Beve's calling. We were just talking about this yesterday. And it doesn't take a genius to realize that this is why I was awakened at 4 AM with a bee in my bonnet about all this. You see, Beve sometimes feels guilty about his lack of discipline when it comes to spiritual practices.
I listened to him and thought of how both of us were taught from the earliest age that if we didn't spend a certain amount of time each day reading the Word of God and praying for others, we just we're really His followers. In fact, we were failing at 'living our lives worthy of the gospel.'
And you, dear readers, might be among those who also believe this. You might read your Bible, say your prayers, make a check on the list, then go about your day, thinking you're exactly Who God intends you to be.
But I say, HOGWASH.
First, and this is the most important thing God has to say, HE LOVES YOU. The end. You don't have to do anything to prove it. HE did it all. The end. We're right in the middle of the season that reminds of that. God, who created EVERYTHING that was ever created, allowed--no, allowed isn't strong enough--CHOSE to become a human baby who could barely understand anything. HE'd listened to heavenly choirs, now had to learn the voice of His own human mother. Because HE LOVES US. And make no mistake, He didn't KNOW when He was wrapped in rags that He was GOD. He had to learn it as He learned language, to sit up, to walk, run, talk and think. By the time He was twelve He knew. BY thirty, clearly. And it was all--all, ALL about loving us, whether we have our daily quiet time or not. Whether we even love Him back or not (though that's another story).
But here's the other thing, and it's what I should be saying to Beve, but he's asleep, so I'm saying it here, until he wakes up. My spouse DOES the gospel. By that I mean, he lives it out. Just this week, while school hasn't been in session, he's given away wood pellets to a young woman with no money, he bought Christmas presents for a needy family (and used up our wrapping paper--and I was even miffed at the time!), he bought a ham for someone, he took clothes to some of 'his kids' who didn't have winter-wear. This is just what he does. Some of it is his job. Most of it is so far outside the parameters of 'school counselor' no one would even know how to classify it. It's the gospel. Taking care of widows and orphans. The poor and the needy. This is true religion.
And there's NOTHING to be ashamed about in such work.
"I don't do enough," are the words of a person who is being made into the image of Christ...and only sees himself in relation to the ONE. I suppose we who long to be like Him will always see the distance we have to travel.
But I see the Beve and see how close he is to the ONE.
It makes me resolve (a word I rarely use, and almost NEVER on THIS day!) to pray for him as he goes out and does. That is MY calling.