When you are young, love comes with passion. You can’t wait to see each other, touch, kiss, and be close. Those feelings supercharge your emotions and make you feel alive. Young people write love, songs, poetry, and make art. The love of youth is full of energy that pushes people to do crazy and fun things together.
The other day I saw the other side of love. I watched an older couple getting into their car. He struggled to walk. She took his hand and helped him into the passenger seat. I am sure he once drove that automobile everywhere, as she was rarely allowed to drive. Now she was in control. She helped him into his seat, loaded his walker in the trunk. She came back to his door and made sure he was buckled up and secured. With all her might, she closed the door, walked around and maneuvered into the driver’s seat. The car started and off they went.
They never saw me watching them, even though I was staring to the point that might be considered embarrassing. I marveled at his trust in her. Her compassion for him. The teamwork that made their life together magnificent. By appearances, I would say they had been married at least 50 years. The fire of passion was dim, but their love has never burned brighter.
After watching their act of love, I spent time thinking about my wife and how much love changes. The passion of youth gives way to the teamwork of parenting. The fun of adventure transitions into the joy of time alone together. The hands that once touched with delight now help to support one another in times of difficulty. The feelings remain the same, but the expression becomes new with each season of life.
Real love is about joyfully changing yourself to meet your spouse’s needs. The hands that one day are buying lingerie will then wash baby clothes, and next will help your son pack for college and finally will hold your hand in the doctor’s office.
My challenge this week is this one project. If you are married, go home and grab your spouse’s hands and kiss them. Thank God for the things those hands have done. Ask God to guide you into the things those hands will do for you. Take a moment and recognize that the hands of love have many forms and each one is a gift from God.