First you have to understand that morning is typically not my best time. I'm not a morning person, and today was unusual in that, it's my one day of the week to sleep in. Yet, when Bruce's alarm went off at 5am, (which typically I don't really hear) instead of snuggling deeper under the covers and snoozing, my mental alarm clicked in and BAM! I was awake, I was up and-- gasp-- I was THINKING. I mean, my brain was actually forming complete thoughts and sentences and they were coherent and thought provoking! This was all BEFORE I'd even made the coffee!
Once the coffee was made, I proceeded to fix a cup for me and one for him. And since Bruce had hit his snooze button and obviously needed some extra motivation, I brought his to him. I watched him struggle to untangle the bed sheets, find his bathrobe and try to connect the coffee mug to his mouth. I took in his morning look-- his hair a twisted sheaf of golden wheat, his eyelids heavy with sleep and his general demeanor clearly stating what a discombobulated state he was in. Lest you think I am being unkind, please know that I fully understand what sort of state I am in, in the mornings. I give you exhibit A as proof:
|my typical morning look|
Because I know what I look like every morning, and since almost every morning, without fail, I'm still in my robe and slippers or at best, yoga pants and an oversized T, hair not combed, face unwashed, and feeling just as discombobulated, as I send Bruce out the door, it is a marvel to me that he tells me he loves me. That he calls me 'adorable' or 'cute' or, amazingly enough-- 'beautiful'. Really? I mean, REALLY???
But here's the thing... As I watched him this morning, this face that I have loved for over 20 years, I was moved beyond words. But I had to put it into words to really get it.
He finds me beautiful even in my raw state. This 56 year old body, that has born two children, gone through the ups and downs of weight gain and weight loss, numerous injuries and surgeries; this body a road map of stretch marks and scars; this face devoid of make up,with its weathered lines and crows feet more prominent with each passing year... and more than that, this woman who has allowed her husband to see her in all kinds of vulnerable, he finds her beautiful? It must be love.
And I, who look at him, his body weighed down by the passage of time. The once tight muscles of a younger man, coming up against gravity and slowly losing the battle. Hands that have worked hard to provide. Shoulders that carry the burden of providing for a family, a responsibility that weighs heavily at times. And I look with tenderness and still feel the stirrings of passion for this man, my life partner. This is definitely love.
And then it hits me... how much more does our Heavenly Father love? God, who knows me so intimately, with all my faults and failures, yet declares me righteous, blameless, without sin, giving me full access to His Kingdom as a heir of Christ. It's hard to take in.
When I look into my husbands eyes and see the love and adoration shining back at me, I am able to catch a glimpse of how he really sees me. When he looks into my eyes he can begin to believe it when I tell him I find him attractive. And that helps me begin to understand the fullness of just how much more Jesus loves me. If Bruce can see past my wild and wooly morning hair, my sometimes cranky, sometimes confused attitude; if he can see me at my worst and still love me as if I'm the best, it gives me a small sample of the overwhelming love that Jesus has for me.
As Max Lucado puts it,