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Love During the Difficult Times, Billy Graham magazine DECISION

"Wait here a minute," my husband Jim said. He had just brought me home from the airport. I had been gone nearly a month to visit my elderly mother and to care for one of our daughters who was ill.

As I waited in the hallway, Jim turned on the compact disc player, and the lilting melody of my favorite ragtime song filled the house. A wonderful aroma filled the air. In the kitchen I found the breadmaking machine just finishing a loaf of bread, perfectly timed for my arrival home. I opened the refrigerator and discovered one of my favorite treats--a watermelon. What wonderful "little" things Jim had prepared to show his love for me!


Those signs of aging were beautiful to me, and many times I told myself, "This is real love! Jim's sacrificial deeds mean more than any romantic words that he could say to me."



Happy incidents like this help keep our romance alive. However, sometimes ugly tasks and tedious commitments we carry out speak more loudly of love, than do the sentimental and sweet words.

Some years ago I underwent a mastectomy and also had many malignant lymph nodes removed. A few days after surgery a serious infection developed in my chest. It needed to be drained and dressed twice a day, but I could not do it myself.

Every day for 10 months Jim tenderly cleaned that gaping cavity, then carefully put on clean dressings and a wide elastic bandage. Never did he complain. When I tried to thank him or to apologize for the mess, he said, "I'm here to serve you."

While Jim cared for me, I would look up into his gentle face. The firm, muscular person whom I had married 37 years earlier had developed bags under his eyes and deep wrinkles down his cheeks. His mop of curly hair was now thin and graying.


Those signs of aging were beautiful to me, and many times I told myself, "This is real love! Jim's sacrificial deeds mean more than any romantic words that he could say to me."



Those signs of aging were beautiful to me, and many times I told myself, "This is real love! Jim's sacrificial deeds mean more than any romantic words that he could say to me."

Jim was a living example of Jesus' astonishing act of washing the dirty feet of his disciples. We often say that we believe in Jesus' teachings about servanthood, but Jim wasn't just speaking the words--he was doing what he believed.

The sweet and fun times in our lives have been good--but this difficult time demonstrated to me what genuine love and romance are all about.

Jim's note:
In 1997, Sally died of breast cancer. Her death has left a gaping hole in my life and in the ministry here at Midlife Dimensions. I have assumed Sally's organizational duties and I'm continuing to write, counsel and speak at conferences, but I do miss her brilliant insights, wit, and spiritual strength.


by Sally Christon Conway
Published in the Billy Graham magazine DECISION

Conway / Farrel Articles ~    Reprint by permission only,  ©2011

Midlife Dimensions ~ www.Midlife.com

  

The Conways and Farrels are international speakers and popular authors.

Midlife Dimensions is a ministry founded by the Conways and continued by the Farrels.