SHE WAS ECSTATIC. Here she was at a little bed and breakfast with the man she had exchanged vows with twenty-five years before. They had just finished a romantic, candlelit dinner. He had amazed her because he had actually called the restaurant and requested a special table by the fire. She looked out the window to see a wintry scene that was right out of Currier & Ives.
They reminisced about times past and the amazing children they had raised. It was a different season now, with those kids out of the house.What was going to be the new goal? Where should they be five years from now? She always enjoyed talks like this with him, because it felt like they were truly connecting. He had been a little distant lately, and she had begun to worry. But tonight brought her a new sense of love for him and a great sense of relief. The experience at the restaurant ended in such a fabulous way. They even lingered over coffee. After a pleasant ride home and a wonderful night in every respect, she went to bed with a peace in her heart and new dreams for the future.
One month later . . .
Although things had not continued quite as beautifully as that night in the restaurant, she still possessed a peace about the future.He was being distant again and had been on the computer much more than usual, but Christmas was just around the corner. She could already feel the joy of the whole family being together again.
The garage door opened and he walked into the house. Her life was about to be changed forever. He was agitated and she didn’t know why. The keys were thrown, the tie was ripped off, and he headed straight for the bedroom. He must have had a really bad day at work. This was different, though. Something definitely felt wrong. She wasn’t even sure she wanted to ask him about it. Mustering her courage, she forced herself to follow him to the bedroom.
“What in the world is going on?”
He seemed to sense the weight of her question and barely looked at her when he revealed that he was no longer in love with her and wanted to leave. It felt weird and surreal. Was this coming out of the mouth of her husband? This happened to other people. Did he really just say that?
“. . . Because I deserve to be happy.”
He what? The story was gradually revealed. Through a fluke, he had been in contact with his high school sweetheart over the Internet. He’d been reminded of the young innocent love that the two of them had shared. He ached to be that happy again. He was convinced that this other woman could provide that happiness. He wanted out.
He left the next day.
Julie and Beth were carrying packages through the mall for the umpteenth time since becoming best friends three years before. Their motto was simple: there was always room in the closet for one more pair of shoes. Shopping together was not just a way to pass the time; it was an emotional experience. They could just look at each other and laugh. Currently, they both had tears flowing down their faces as they reminisced about past adventures.
“They probably don’t have these stores in Phoenix.” It slipped out of Beth’s mouth.
“In Phoenix? What are you talking about?” Julie suddenly realized that Beth had stopped smiling.
“Oh, Julie. My boss called me in today. My position is being transferred to the Phoenix office. If I want to keep my job, I’m going to have to move. I’ve already put in eight years with the company. I can’t just throw that out. I’ve been trying to sift through this all day. I was going to tell you at dinner.”
Three weeks later, Beth was two thousand miles away, and Julie was walking alone through the same mall. The last thing she wanted to do was to ever buy another pair of shoes.
NONE OF US wants to be “left.”
And yet we all are left at some point in our lives. I wish it weren’t true. Someone leaves—whether through a deliberate act of walking out the door or the devastating passage of death—it happens. It is a part of living here and enduring mortal bodies and possessing selfish hearts.
We were all built for relationship—first and foremost with our Creator, who in turn blessed us with the desire for relationship.There is a yearning in all of us to love and be loved. There is a longing to know and be known.
If we should be so blessed as to find a special relationship in this life, we certainly don’t want to lose it. Some of us may cling too tightly, and some may take it for granted. But truth be told, none of us wants it to change. Not one of us wants to lose someone we love. The relationship is safety. It is comfort. It brings stability and a sense of wellbeing. We belong.
I first heard the song “A Love That Won’t Walk Away” on a demo tape when I was looking for new music for an upcoming CD. I’ve written many songs, but I am always looking for the “gold nuggets” out there in the world of music. I look for those treasures that I could “own” for myself, and most of all be able to “give away” to others. I yearn for people to know the riches of God’s love. From the minute I heard . . .
Life’s not tailor made . . .
To . . .
Some days you hide under the covers . . .
It was like I was screaming inside.This was way more than just a song . . . I thought,“That’s me!”That is me . . .
Am I going to make it?
How could this happen?
I don’t deserve it.
How could there be a God
Who would allow this?”
Such words have echoed
Through the chambers
Of Heaven millions of times . . .
Because I have been through my own “dark nights of the soul,” and because I have seen the “joy come in the morning,” I must sing about His love.
When I sing . . .
But you will be okay . . .
I see the arrow of God’s hope pierce through the most despairing heart. Don’t we all need to be reminded?
As a matter of fact, I could never sing about it enough.
I pray I will sing it far into eternity.
I could never speak about it enough. I will be talking about it through forever.
I could never think about it enough. It will still occupy my mind thousands and thousands of years from now.
I could never stop giving it.
Sometimes you may know someone who will do something that is contrary to what you have experienced from them. You might say . . .
That was so out of character for him.
We can never say that about Jesus. He is consistent and unconditional in his wisdom and his love. You can count on it.He is the house you come home to after along trip. It’s safe and secure. It’s a haven and a hiding place. That is so reassuring to me. It brings me such comfort, especially being single and now without parents.
I had very little relationship with Jesus when my father died. It was all so confusing to me. I remember one particular day pretty vividly. An ambulance waited at the end of our driveway. I watched as my father ever so slowly walked toward the vehicle. He stopped and turned around to the house that he cherished and said, “I’m leaving all this . . .” he was leaving, knowing that he would never return. My uncle then took the arm of this ashen, frail, and tired man and helped him walk the rest of the way.He had fought a good fight.He knew it was almost over. I was too young to really know the deep agony my dad must have felt as he left his home. I remember the pain in my heart as I saw him take a teary last look at the place he worked so hard to give to my mom and sister and me.
Today I think of the last words I heard my father speak as he said goodbye to everything he loved in life.
“I’m leaving all this.”
There is great pain in being left, but there is also deep pain in the leaving. I will never forget that scene as long as I live. I also remember many years later when my mother said to my sister and me . . .
“I don’t want to leave you. I want to know you will be all right. I want to see my grandchildren grow.”
Today I am certain of the life that my parents have been given. I often say that with Jesus we go from “life to life.” I am also certain that we will all be reunited some day.The “leaving” will be just for a moment on God’s timetable. I know that it is just “goodbye for now.”Because of the resurrection we can experience love that will never walk away.