Saturday, July 19, 2008

True Love

I have one of those Chicken soup for the soul Bibles where there are little stories through out the Bible and there is one that will never stop reaching out to my heart. For the past few years the Lord has been showing me the meaning of what True Love is by putting older couples in my life or by showing me scriptures.
Two years ago I came accross this story in my Bible, this story has become to mean allot to me because of a couple the Lord has put in my path that is struggling much of the same as this couple in the story but far more complicated then the the story I'm going to share from the Bible.

Through the Eyes of Love

Susan entered the hospital room with flowers in her hand and a lump in her throat. She had traveled from California to see her best friend, Natalie, who was dying from a rare form of brain cancer. Susan knew this would be the last time she would see Natalie, and she had prepared herself for the worst.
Susan approached Natalie's bedside, barely recognizing the vibrant woman she once knew. Natalie's eyes were closed, her breathing powered by machines, her full face gaunt, her cheeks sunken, her porcelain skin now a jaundiced yellow. Could this be the same Natalie who had hiked the Grand Canyon with her husband, Alford, only a year before? The sight took Susan so by surprise that she could barely catch her breath.
Susan turned to see Natalie's devoted husband enter the room. "Al, hi..." Susan hugged him and began to cry. Al smiled at Susan, thinking about the fact that Susan had introduced him to Natalie during college. Natalie and Al's courtship was quick, and they were married before the end of their senior year. They shared so many of the same interests: traveling, skiing, and scouring flea markets for quirky antiques to decorate the houses they rehabbed together.
Al and Susan sat at Natalie's bedside, Al taking Natalie's fragile hand.
"I can't believe it," Susan sighed. "She was in remission for five years, and're incredible to stay by her side like this."
Al shook his head, "My place is by my bride," he said, interwining Natalie's skeletal fingers with his own. "She inspires me. She always surprised me, you know? Those mystery trips she'd take me on, the birthdays...I could never suprise her; she was always one step ahead of me.
"I told her when she finished her doctorate in art, we'd buy that sports car we'd always wanted. Something candy-apple red, convertable, real fast. But she couldn't finish the degree because she got so sick. So the last time Natalie was released from the hospital, I decided I could finally catch her off guard. I went out and bought a red two- door convertible!
"When they wheeled Natalie to the curb, I pulled up with the top down, and her face lit up...she could've powered the whole city with the wattage coming from her smile. The orderlies had to lift her up and lower her into the seat because she'd lost so much control of her muscles. But she didn't care, she just kept laughing, shaking her head, saying she couldn't believe it!
"Susan, you should have seen her. I took the rural roads west of town and raced the car as fast as I could. The wind was furious, blowing her hair around. Her cheeks got a little color to them when the sun hit her face. Her eyes sparkled. She was in heaven.
"When she was getting sick, vomiting every night, just aching, I'd do what I could to make her comfortable. Then I'd remind her of driving those back roads, and I'd see her face relax, and she'd look at me the same way did when we first met, with that little girl look."

Susan looked again to the corpse-like body laying on the hospital bed and felt the tears well up. She couldn't see past the physical ravage of the cancer to recall Natalie's vibrancy, her sparkling smile and eyes. As Susan watched Al sit with Natalie gently adjusting her hospital gown and fixing the pillows behind her head, a memory came rushing back to her. She saw Natalie standing at the altar on her wedding day, staring into Al's eyes as they recited their vows. Al's love and devotion to Natalie was so complete that even the waste of cancer couldn't change his vision of the woman he still called "his bride." Susan watched as Al tenderly brushed a stray hair from Natalie's pale brow and whispered, "Isn't she beautiful? I love her so much!"
That is true love to me! Did you hear that last part: "Al's love and devotion to Natalie was so complete that even the waste of cancer couldn't change his vision of the woman he still called "HIS BRIDE." That is amazing!
In the book of Song of Songs is a poem about a lover and his bride. He sees her with the eyes of love, and she cherishes him with a heart of joy. That kind of love can never be put out, even by great hardship. "Many waters cannot quench love; neither can rivers drown it." (song of songs 8:7)

As the Lord to show you the meaning of true love.

No comments: