Last year... I got one of the best presents ever.
It wasn't a gift wrapped in shiny paper with bows, it wasn't under my tree, it wasn't even something I could hold in my hand. It was a blessing.
In June of 2010 I met an older gentleman at work. He had those eyes... the deep blue kind eyes you could stare in and feel his heart. On our first meeting I asked him if he was doing anything fun that week. His eyes lit up as he told me how he was taking his wife out for their 60th anniversary. He told me how he had special ordered her favorite roses... ordered a limo... and was taking her to their favorite restaurant (which I believe was Cocos :) how cute is that!??!). His words exuded such love for his wife... It brought tears to my eyes. I asked him
"What's your secret to such a happy marriage?"
And he came back with simply the best answer. An answer I have witnessed in my parents and grandparents...
"Love the Lord with all your heart first... Pray every day that he would allow you to love your spouse with your whole heart... and tell them every day that you love them."
Every Tuesday, at 10 o'clock I would look forward to him walking in in his pastel colored sweater with his walker holding envelopes carefully made out with instructions to fulfill all his banking needs. He would smile and ask me how I was doing... We would chat for about 10 minutes about life, love, and friendship... I treasured those chats. He would tell me about his sweet wife whose name was Mildred and I would tell him to tell her hello for me... I'd never actually met his "Sweet Mildred" until early December.
She walked in... came to me because her hubby had told her to... and explained how he had fallen...and broken his hip. I assured her I could help her out with her banking needs (she was completely overwhelmed). As we talked I could see why he referred to her as his "Sweet Mildred". She told me he was moved to a rehabilitation facility and he wasn't doing well.
Weeks passed and I didn't see either of them... My heart sunk as I knew he couldn't have been doing well since I hadn't seen either of them... I prayed for both of them... for strength and comfort.
Now this is where the story gets good... I work with the Junior high group at my church (haven't been with them since April of this year because of this Mustard Seed... I can hardly wait to be strong enough to go back) and we were going caroling at a local elderly home... We met at the church... Prayed that we would be used... practiced our Christmas Carols... and drove over to the home.
As we walked in... I saw a sweet little lady with her walker standing by the door.
"MILDRED! I'm so glad to see you! I had no idea you were here! How are you doing?" I said as I walked across the lobby.
"Oh my goodness Rachel! He is going to be so happy! Come on!" She grabbed my hand and pulled me into a room on the side. Walking as fast as her little legs could go, she yelled inside, "Your Rachel is here!"
I peeked my head inside, and there... with sunken blue eyes... but still as much life in those eyes as the day I had met him... sat my dear friend.
I will never forget the words he said... they still make me get goosebumps when I think about it.
"Oh My Rachel", he said, with love in his eyes, as he grabbed for my hand," I just knew you would come! I knew it!"
I told him I was praying for him... he told me he already knew that... I also told him what a blessing it was to see him, I hadn't expected to run into them there... He told me again... that he knew I was going to come. He then promised that we would see each other again.
My dear friend passed two days after I saw him. His wife came into my office and asked to speak with me... she told me how much it meant to him to see me one last time... and how he told her, and everyone he saw, in those last 2 days how I had come to see him... and what a blessing it was to know that we were brothers and sisters in Christ.
That was the best present I could have received last year.
And I know... I will get to see those sweet blue eyes again.
So... Merry Merry Christmas My Dear friend! I hope your second Christmas in Heaven is even sweeter!