From The Waiting Room Today

from last summer

I’m thinking about my husband’s face.

He’s in surgery right now, outpatient surgery on his foot. Routine, they say.

Still, as we went through the pre-op protocol, I found it hard to tear my eyes away from him. I love his face so much.

He has expressive brown eyes and his brow is starting to look kind of craggy. His hairline has receded and the lines between his nose and mouth have deepened considerably.

a wedding photo
a wedding photo

When we met, on 1 July 1983, I thought he was very cute. But it was his deep voice and capable hands that were an irresistible magnet. Plus he made me laugh, and he bounces a little when he walks. I loved that about him.

Of course I haven’t always loved everything about him. Just to be clear. We will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this August, and we have had our share of difficult times. Our relationship is not a volatile one, but life can be hard and takes a toll on any two people.

Each of us has had many career ups and downs, and managing two careers between one couple has not been easy. Because of our commitment to an egalitarian relationship we have moved across the country three times for job relocations. In ministry we talk about “following a call” but that should not be interpreted to have a glossy sheen; it has been very challenging and Doug has sacrificed (perhaps unduly) for my call.

We have also raised two children. As any parent knows, that means we have had to learn to love two more people unconditionally. The loving isn’t the hard part. It’s the navigating how to love wisely that’s difficult.

So many times I have had to choose to keep loving him. I have had to pray for the patience and wisdom to love him well. I know he would say the same about me. How many times have we had to recommit to the primacy of our relationship above all others?

Now when I look at his face I see all of this.?I see the concerns that have creased his brow, the smiles that have wrinkled his eyes. I can hear his laugh. I want to stroke his hair, hair that I have cut more times than I can count. I have made meals to please him, and I have laundered his underwear. He has done the same for me.

All of these things fill my mind when I look at his face.?Is he still cute? I can’t say. I just know that there is no other face I’d rather look at. I feel fortunate to look across the table at a man I love.

As a minister I have spent time with older couples. I just didn’t know what they saw when they looked at each other.

If Hollywood were to truly understand this, someone could make a lot of money. Somehow. Because it changes everything we know about “attractiveness.”

In a few hours I’ll see his face again, post-surgery. I look forward to it.

Thanks for waiting here with me.

UPDATE: The surgery took 2 hours, as scheduled. The doctor found more bone fragments than he expected to find. Doug should have a very good result. We are home now and all is well. Thanks for your support!


12 responses to “From The Waiting Room Today”

  1. Beautiful, Ruth. I can relate after 33 years with one man

  2. Oh, Ruth, this is beautiful, and just what I needed to read today. Thank you. And prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

  3. I hope Doug feels better after this procedure.
    I love your wedding photo, that’s the Uncle Doug I remember 🙂

    1. Thanks Meg. One of my favorite photos of Doug is him holding you the first time he met you, about then. I think I put it on FB.

  4. Praying for you both.

    1. I feel it. So glad.

  5. Beth Huizenga-Murillo Avatar
    Beth Huizenga-Murillo

    Beautiful, wise writing ~ thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks for being here with me sister!

  6. Praying while you wait!

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