I was at the doctor’s office a while back; I had an appointment to discuss an upcoming surgery. Something from there followed me home, remaining in my mind. It really rattled me ~ not my surgery or anything like that. It is about a man who was sitting in the waiting room, waiting to be seen by the doctor. I was at the desk making my next appointment and I couldn’t help overhearing his phone conversation ~ actually, I don’t think anyone could have missed it. Here is what he said, to the best of my recollection, “No! You aren’t coming down here, I don’t need you! I am going to do this myself! Don’t you dare come down here and don’t you call and ask all your questions! NO! So! You pray with your sister every **** day! No! I am doing this myself, don’t you call! I don’t want you here! You and your crazy… You will just **** this up for me!! NO! Alright good bye.” Ugh… my stomach ached as my heart sank. There were more expletives, but I think you get the gist.
I tried not to look at him, but I couldn’t help it. I totally expected to see something on his face or person that would give away or explain why he would do that. I expected to see a mean and angry face to match the mean and angry words. I didn’t. He looked like a regular middle-aged guy. The only thing that kept going through my head in that moment was, “You will miss her love when it’s gone.” I wanted to yell at him, plead with him, whisper to him… Grab him by the shoulders and shake him, until it changed him. Although, I knew deep down that only God can change him, only the saving grace of Jesus. I think I would have told him, if I hadn’t been afraid of being slugged. I failed in boldness and settled for prayer.
I began thinking about and praying for the woman who loved him… So much, that she would endure those words… she must have endured them for years. Knowing how he would respond, she still told him that she wanted to be there for him, that she wanted to pray for him. My heart broke for her. What a lonely married life she must lead. Praise God for her sister with whom she can submit prayers to the Lord for this man. I thought that if he is like this when he is in need (whether he realizes his need or not) what could he be like in his want? If this is how he speaks to her in earshot of a room full of people, what more must he say behind close doors. Her strength in the Lord still amazes me. Oh, Lord Jesus, please continue to strengthen her!
As I was walking out of the doctor’s office, I realized something ~ something that could only come from the heart of God… He had to put it in my mind, because I would be totally incapable of such a consideration. As far as I was concerned, this man was a miserable excuse for a husband. Then the Lord reminded me of the fear this man was suffering, like a stray dog locked in a noisy, cold cage at the pound. Biting at every person that tried to show him kindness, because he was afraid for his life. He reminded me of what tragedy this man must have suffered earlier in life or as a child, to turn on and treat others this way.
The Lord allowed me to view him as a boy, which for some reason, seemed more lovable than an angry man ~ even though they are one in the same. My heart began to ache for this man, too, and his loneliness. Alienating himself from the love of those God has put in his path ~ those loving him despite the abuse he throws out without thought. Someone so pained, he can’t even see what he is missing. So lost, that the only thing that reminds him he is still living is that he can inflict pain. What a ravenous pit of despair, a bottomless pit that this man is furiously trying to fill, cover, and hide with anger and hateful things… in an attempt to distract himself from the sinking sand around him. Oh, Lord Jesus, please save him!
Do you know someone like this, who has hurt you or someone you care for? Can you love that person with God’s love, as this wife loves her husband? What a lesson in endurance ~ what an example of unconditional love! God can do this very thing through you if you allow Him! Can you encourage someone who is in this kind of situation? Can we encourage you?
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.
Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.