Sweat, Grass, and Sam Cooke

Last summer, the swelter of the hot southern day forced my skin to do more than glisten. Sweat dripped off the end of my nose, temporarily watering the stubborn weeds being jerked out of my flower bed. Lively tunes in my ears helped make the task more bearable while drowning out my husband’s roaring mower. 

[Next month, we will be married 42 years. Young women often ask me how we’ve stayed together this long. They tend to say we are “cute” together. Not sure what that means, but generally I make sure they know we do not always act cute toward one another. We have had our share of challenges to work through, but thankfully we have some powerful Holy Spirit glue that ensures we don’t wander too far from one another. Moments like the one you’re about to read give our marriage extra stickiness.] 

As I squatted over the flower bed, I realized the mower suddenly stopped roaring. I looked up to see Ron walking toward me. The mower had run out of gas, and he was on his way to the garage to retrieve the gas can. On his way, his eyes fixed on mine and his lips were moving. I’d been with him long enough to recognize that he was singing along with the music in his ears. As he got closer, he unplugged the headphones and turned up the volume. I turned off my music so I could hear his. It was Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me” – an oldie, but goodie. When he got to me, He held out his hand and pulled me up. Right there in the front yard, two sweaty, grass-covered sweethearts enjoyed a tender slow dance. (Swoon might be a good word to use right here.) He knows how to make me feel wanted.

If you’ve been happily married for a while, no doubt you have similar stories. Share them with those coming along behind you. Goodness knows, they need some encouragement and hope! If you don’t have that special someone in your life right now, just know that there IS definitely someone whose heart’s desire is to make you feel wanted. He sees you working up a sweat as you struggle to uproot the weeds in your heart. He knows you’ve become so accustomed to the roar of the world that the only music you hear is your own. Yet even while your weary heart aches over personal struggles or the condition of the world, He’s moving closer and closer, just hoping you’ll look up.

“Since we now have a magnificent High Priest [JESUS] to welcome us into God’s house, we come closer to God and approach him with an open heart, fully convinced that nothing will keep us at a distance from him.” (Hebrews 10:21-22a, TPT)

After the dance break with Ron, I noticed my weed pulling didn’t seem nearly as difficult. Though my hands worked steadily, my thoughts shifted from the task back to the dance. Maybe that’s how life with Jesus works. First, we look up, take His hand, and let Him pull us to our feet. Then, by listening to His music, we realize how much He wants us to stop fretting and just dance. After more than a few tender slow dances, He “sends us” to others needing to look up. 

Whether it’s with the world, or the church, or between husbands and wives, I believe the writer of Hebrews goes on to offer some helpful advice:

“Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, TPT)

As the church, we are the bride of Christ. He wants to marry us and take us home. Honest He does!

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a poster saying “Sweat, Grass, and Sam Cooke”

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