Keeping the Faith: His love endures forever

Published: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 02:13 PM.

When my youngest son hopped on an airplane for his first foray into the friendly skies, it didn’t take him long to shake off any fear he may have brought down the tarmac with him. He loved it, his favorite part being when the plane would bank steeply to one side.
“It’s fun when the universe is sideways,” he said as the plane tilted dangerously askew. I disagreed in more ways than one. The universe is sideways, it seems, but it is not very enjoyable. It is terrifying.

The fear, uncertainty, wars and rumors of wars, loss of homes, jobs, and economic insecurity have all but stolen the spirit of Thanksgiving from many a heart. When your mortgage payment is 90 days late; when you have to sit down with your child to say you can no longer afford the tuition that is keeping her at school; when you wonder if you will have enough gas money just to get you to work next week, it’s hard to be thankful.

When you can no longer stomach the ring of your cell phone because of all the bill collectors, when your retirement plan has lost 40, 50, 60 percent of its value — your personal universe is sideways and it is not fun.

So it is a daunting task for many this Thanksgiving to sit down to turkey, if there is even a turkey to eat, and be able to say “thank you.” An alternative prayer of the Psalmist seems more appropriate: “How long O Lord, will you forget about me?”

Some time ago my sweet wife was having a very bad day. Anyone who knows my wife knows that she is as steady as the rising sun. Her mood and outlook on life is constantly cheerful. But on this day, it was chilly and dark.

Things at work were difficult. There were family issues — in hers and mine. There was more month than money. A co-worker was being inflexible and obnoxious. The house was a wreck. Our children were defying her, and I was ignoring her. She was reduced to tears. I went in to where she was crying, I put my arms around her, and I said, “But honey, I love you.”
In my mind I was dismounting from my white steed, my shining armor polished to a dazzling sheen, there to save the day with my strong arms, calming presence, and soothing words. But I was not received as the saving Messiah. Cindy recoiled, pushed me away and said, “I know. But that doesn’t fix anything.” And she was right.

My love for her didn’t shut up bawling children. It didn’t magically put more money in our checking account. It didn’t turn the dunce she worked with into Mother Teresa. It didn’t even take the fish sticks off the table.



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