Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Hope She Knows

When she asked me if I could come with her to the airport, I said yes. But when I left to drive back home I couldn't help but wonder why she would even want to go there. Everyone else's husbands would be coming home... but hers wouldn't be.

And my mind can be so selfish sometimes and all I could think of was all of us looking down that long corridor watching solider after solider find the arms of their loved ones, and we would just be standing there knowing... knowing that he had already gone home back in August when a suicide bomber took his life.

I couldn't wrap my mind around it until a kind friend explained as we carpooled down to the airport last night.

"She represents him in their military community...
Showing up tonight, it's just one more way that she  can finish strong and honor her man.
Sometimes showing up can be beyond hard, but in her willingness to show up, she's showing these men and women Jesus alive and well in heart."

And as she explained I felt almost ashamed of how internally I think about things sometimes, how I center so many of my decisions around myself and what makes me feel comfortable.

I know it wasn't easy for her to welcome those men home with a smile. But she did it, and she did it so gracefully.

I was there at the airport. I was there to support my precious friend. But as it happens often, the privilege of being there was just another moment in my life where I saw my Jesus a bit clearer.

When all the families had left, it was just us left standing there. She asked us to pray. And right there next to  baggage claim we knelt down and surrounded our friend. We prayed and she wept, and I knew in my heart of hearts that even though she might have felt completely broken, she was in fact illuminating His strength.

It's strange how the world defines strength. But it's really in our shattered brokenness that we are our absolute strongest. It's really when we are aware of our utter weakness that we can live completely free in the only One is who is strong.

It's backwards from everything in this world. And for most of us it's nearly impossible to grasp... that is until He's been gracious enough to walk us through the valley of vision.

Paul said it perfectly...

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

We left the airport and went to a brewery in town. 
And in all honesty, I haven't laughed that hard in ages. Together in that corner booth we found ourselves some joy in the absolute midst of the pain. We ordered pretzels and donuts for dinner and we laughed long about things that we just might not be family blog appropriate information... LOL. :)

I felt privileged to be there last night. 

I feel privileged to call her my friend. 
I hope she knows how He uses her to grow me up towards Himself.
I hope she knows that her life displays His splendor.
I hope she knows that when she feels beyond broken she's really this pillar of strength that stands tall and shows the world without a word that her Jesus is the epitome of an unshatterable strength, a strength that outside our weaknesses, the world might never know.