Golden and Noble Works

“A wife too should regard her duties in the same light, as she suckles the child, rocks and bathes it, and cares for it in other ways; and as she busies herself with other duties and renders help and obedience to her husband. These are truly golden and noble works."
Martin Luther

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dr. Jekyll and “Mrs.” Hyde - From Jenny

Jenny writes:

Are you familiar with this old story by Robert Louis Stevenson? Dr. Jekyll invents a potion in an attempt to hide the evil desires within himself with which he has been battling for years. But to his horror the potion transforms him into Mr. Hyde, giving the evil desires full reign.

Sometimes, as the wife of the pastor, I feel a bit like this twisted character. The “real me” is so very proud of my husband; of the studying he’s done and continues to do; of the work he so tirelessly goes after. He upholds the Office of the Holy Ministry very well, thank you very much! I’m sure you feel the same about your husbands. What a blessing isn’t it, to have the privilege to know these men?

I willingly share him with the people of the congregation, knowing that the Lord’s work needs to be done. People want his ministry so I release him to be “over there” at any and all times. Bible studies need to be written and prepared, sermons need to be researched and written, people need counselling, couples need to be married, widows need to be visited, meetings need to be attended, and the list goes on, right? I know it must happen and for the better part of the day, of the week even, I don’t miss him. He’s at work and I’m at work. We are busy with our callings, doing the Lord’s bidding.

But then he is asked to visit Africa with his father. He will be gone almost three weeks. He will miss two Sundays and five Tuesday/Thursday Matins services. The catch is that he will be home on Wednesday, meaning he should be able to have Matins on the following Thursday. But he cancels it, knowing he will miss six Matins services. He was told by his Board of Elders to take the rest of the homecoming week off – to be with family – to recover from jet lag. I love the Board of Elders! 

Sunday morning comes and we are all in church again. The congregation is happy to have their shepherd back. I am happy to have my husband back. My children are happy to have their father back. But there are a few who never miss Matins. Ever. And they are not happy. I feel Mrs. Hyde beginning to bubble under the surface. 

“I was going to have a welcome home party for him and he didn’t even have Matins.” 

I smile, understanding her disappointment. Mrs. Hyde continues to bubble. 

“I hate being away from Matins so long. Why did he cancel it?” 

I try to explain in a gentle way while Mrs. Hyde wants to raise her voice and say, “Because he’s been away from his wife and sons for over two weeks!!”  

She shakes her head in disbelief. “Well I just don’t understand. I had a bon voyage party for him and I planned to have a welcome home party for him.”  

Her lips purse as she walks away. Mrs. Hyde is not happy. Another member tells me how many times she will be away from her shepherd over the summer, what with all of his trips and the times she has to be gone. I listen sympathetically. Inside, Mrs. Hyde is now screaming, “What about your shepherd’s family?! Why are you people so selfish? Can you not understand how much of him we share already? Why must you steal away the time he is to spend with us?!” *sigh*

It can be a bit unnerving, dealing with this “Mrs. Hyde.” I love the members of our congregation. We have had, in the past, some difficult congregations to deal with. Most members have been anything but kind. The selfishness was par for the course. After three years of being in the midst of these loving Christians, I guess I was taken aback by their disappointment; by the upset in their schedule and how they vocalized it so matter-of-factly.

Just goes to show me that no one is free from the temptations of the Devil. Everyone is self-centered. Even the most faithful Dr. Jekyll can have a selfish Hyde within.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weak and Loved

 “People say be strong. I say be weak and be loved.” Emily Cook
Emily Cook is the author of Weak and Loved: A Mother Daughter Love Story about her daughter's struggle with epilepsy. She writes:

"In October 2008, shortly after her fourth birthday, my daughter Aggie was diagnosed with epilepsy.  The year that followed was one of the most difficult years of our lives."
Right now you can get a copy of the eBook for Free HERE. I don't have an eReader but I just bought a copy of the book and can't wait to read it.

And she keeps a blog, Weak And Loved, if you haven't been there you should check it out. I've been blessed by her words many times.

"Emily Cook is a mother of six, a sinner, a child, covered in the blood of Christ, and freed from the burden of pretending she is strong. She s a woman growing backward, a mother-child, messy with sin, but rejoicing in the constant love of her Heavenly Father. She lives with her husband and their six children, including now-healthy Aggie, in the arms of the church where he is a pastor." from Amazon Bio