We moved to McAlester 4 ½ years ago and were blessed in meeting our friend Jim. This little man with a big smile always sat at the back of the church during early service and worshipped. He would greet you with a warm handshake and a slap on the back. There was no doubt that he loved life and used every minute to prove it. After being here a short time, he invited Tim to lunch. At the close of the meal, he asked Tim if he would mind going by the house to meet Mary. Jim's face would glow every time he spoke of her. He was like a young school boy with his first crush, even if he was in his later years. Tim agreed and they headed to the house. When they walked in the door Jim announced," I brought company" and had Tim follow him to the back of the house. There sat Mary all covered up in blankets. Her face was drooping on one side and she could not reach out to you because her body had been attacked by a terrible disease many years before. As the years passed Mary had slowly lost use of her body. Tim knelt beside her chair and took her hand. She looked at him and said with her slurred speech, "I know who you are your my pastor." She had been watching our worship services on TV. Jim stood by with pride and told the story of him and his bride. They were two opposites who fit together to be a whole. Mary being the practical one and Jim being the dreamer. They had been through the good and the bad and now here they were near the end of their journey. We grew to love and appreciate this couple as we watched a true love story unfold. You see Mary went to be with the Lord in February. Jim's passion was to be with Mary until the end. He knew he was ill but he wanted to take care of Mary first. He was able to be by her side until the day she went home to be with her Savior. As time passed since February, you could see Jim growing weaker and how much he missed his wife. This past Thursday Jim was reunited with his Mary. They are no longer trapped in bodies that are failing.
I tell you this story because I want you to know there is a "Happily Ever After" out there. Marriage is hard but it is worth fighting for. The world has gotten so good at saying, "if this doesn't work I can get out of it." (Yes, I have thought this myself) But I see God has given us some great example of what marriage is all about. I believe it is all about putting your spouse's needs ahead of your own. I don't know what Tim and I will face in the future but it is my prayer we face it together. Besides, I have given him permission to put me in a home if I go totally wacko. I pray we too can be that love story others can be encouraged by.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh, So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." Mark 107-9