Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Weekly Word for February 14, 2006

Weekly Word - February 14, 2005

“Put me like a seal over your heart, . . . For love is as strong as death, . . . It’s flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the Lord.”
(Song of Solomon 8:6)

Today is February 14th - it is Valentine’s Day! It is a day to celebrate love and joy. But for me, the day hadn’t started out very well at all! The morning had started out with coffee together, and trying to wake up. Ted had to be to work a little earlier than usual, so we both were a little tired. As we sat with our coffee, we sort of half-listened to the news. Ted was talking about work, and about his day ahead. But all I could think about was the new apartment we were going to be moving in to, in less than two weeks. We had walked through it the night before, hoping to make plans for what we needed - before we moved in. Now, as I sat trying to listen to Ted - I wasn’t sure I wanted to move in at all! Every hole, every piece of falling wallpaper, all that needed fixing - kept rolling around in my head! But it was Valentine’s Day, and I didn’t want to spoil the day. So, as Ted finally drove away this morning - I finally let the tears fall . . .

“Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it;
If man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised.”
(Song of Solomon 8:7)

As he drove away, I wished I didn’t feel like I did. I wanted to be happy. But I wasn’t! I was sad that we had to move again. As I went back into the house, I looked at what still needed packing. I looked at the books still in the book cases. There were videos and dvd’s still stacked under the television. And then I looked over at the stereo cabinet. Under the cd’s that still needed to be packed - were our records. They were records we both had collected through the years. Some were from when we were teen-agers. As I thought about them - I couldn’t help but think back - - - to times that seemed so long ago - or maybe only just yesterday . . .

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment. (Philippians 1: 9)

I had asked for a record player for my birthday. After all, I was going to be a teen-ager! I felt so grown-up at 13 years old! So on the day of my birthday party, I couldn’t help but be excited. All my relatives were coming over, and I wondered which one would bring the present I wanted so badly. As they came through the door, I checked out each present. I was sure the box my grandfather was carrying was it! But he only laughed when I asked him.

Waiting was not something I was good at! But they made me wait anyways! Everyone had to eat first, and the adults seemed to take pleasure in eating slowly! At least I thought they did! And then it was time for cake. And so I waited some more. As they finished singing “Happy Birthday”, they waited for me to make a wish and blow out the candles. My “wish” - was for my presents! But instead, we all ate cake. Now usually cake is the one thing I love the most at birthdays. But on this day - I wanted to open my presents . . .

Finally, it was time! I could open my presents. As I unwrapped my brand new portable record player, I was so happy! It was pink, and the lid opened up when you wanted to play your records. I didn’t have any records yet - but I was sure I would have some soon. Just then, my mother handed me a package that looked like it surely must be a record. As I took it, I couldn’t wait to open it! But as she handed it to me, she told me that it was from my grandfather, and only from him. He had gone out by himself, to buy me this present. So when I opened it, my first reaction was not something I wanted him to see. There in my hands was a record called: “A Wonderful World of Music and Fun for Children of all ages”. On the cover was the picture of the “Three Little Pigs” as well as the “Pied Piper”. As I held it in my hands, I wondered what to do. Didn’t he know that I was a teen-ager now? Didn’t he know that I liked “rock-and-roll”? So many emotions went through my head, but somehow I smiled and thanked my Grandpa - who was beaming at me with such love in his eyes . . .

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
(1 Corinthians 13: 4)

That night, I asked my mother why my grandfather would get me a record that was for a “little” girl. She just looked at me and shrugged. I never showed that record to any of my friends, but later that night - I played it on my brand new record player. After that, I hid it away. It was only a year later, when my grandfather died. I guess I always thought that maybe - just maybe - in my grandfather’s eyes - - - I was “his” little girl . . .

Love . . . Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; . . .
(1 Corinthians 13: 7 & 8)

As I put the record back, I pulled out another one. This one brought a memory that was very different. It was a Neil Diamond record, and I had gotten it when I was 14 years old. It was the summer that my grandfather had died. And I had gone to live with my grandmother on the Cape. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to be there. I had just gotten a part time job with my friends, and I wanted to spend the summer with them. But it didn’t matter - my mother had made up her mind - and I was to live with my Nana.

Nana was always talking to Grandpa. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t really there in the room - she just would talk to him. As I would come into the room, she would turn away - and then turn back and tell me a story. It would be stories about her and Grandpa. She would tell me about how they met, or the things they liked to do. She would tell me about how they eloped, and that her cousin and her best friend were the only people there. Little by little, I got to know my grandmother.

She treated me differently than my parents did. She listened to me, and I felt like I was someone special. So when she bought me the record, she took me upstairs and showed me Grandpa’s record player. She told me I could go up there any time I wanted to. And I did. I would go upstairs and put on my record - and just spend time alone. When I was lonely or sad, I would go upstairs and play my record. I listened to songs like “Cracklin Rose” or “Soolaimon” - and dreamed of places far, far away. It was here that I dreamed of the boyfriends I hoped to have, or the things I wanted to do.

It was that summer - living with my grandmother, and playing that record over and over - that helped me learn a little bit more - - - about me . . .

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully - just as I also have been fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13: 12)

As I continued to look through the records, I looked for one particular record - one that I had bought myself. It was a record that had a love song on it. I had bought it because I wanted to “fix” my marriage. I remember the day I brought it home. My marriage was always a difficult one, but for some reason - I still had hope. So on this day, when my husband came home, I put the record on. The kids were gone, and I asked him if he would dance with me. He gave me a strange look, but decided to humor me. As we swayed back and forth (we weren’t very good dancers) I sang the words to him. As I did, I knew that they didn’t say what we had - but what I hoped we could find. When the song ended, I stopped. He looked at me a bit confused. And then he turned and walked away.

We stayed married for a few more years, until the day I left. Now, as I looked through the stack of records, I couldn’t find the record - anywhere. It was gone, just like the marriage . . .

But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13: 13)

Music and memories - they have gone hand in hand in my life. As I continued to think about the different times in my life, it seemed that music was always a part of it. Looking through the stack of records, it seemed like my life was right there - in the music . . .

Last week was our anniversary. Ted and I were married five years ago. On that very special day, right after we said our vows to each other, we danced. We danced to a song called: “The Gift” by Jim Brickman. These are the words:

All I want is to hold you forever
All I need is you more every day
You saved my heart
From being broken apart
You gave your love away
And I’m thankful every day
For the gift

The gift - That is what I feel I have been given - as Ted’s wife. As I think about this day - Valentine’s Day - I realize that each day that we are together - is a gift to us both. We had both felt the pain of a broken heart. We had both been hurt in our lives. But in loving each other, our hearts have been healed of so much.

Looking around the room again, I wiped away my tears. This move wasn’t going to be easy. But we had both faced hard times before. This time though - we had each other - and the Lord - to hold on to.

For love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God . . . For God is love.
(1 John 4: 7 & 8)

Through the years, I have been surprised by the gifts of love that I have been given. They have come along, when I least expected it. They are the gifts that have lasted - not just for a lifetime - - - but forever . . .
The other day, Jenny gave me a cd for my birthday. It had a song on it that I love. The song is: “You’re Gonna Be” by Reba McEntire. The song tells about a mother’s hopes and feelings for her child. These are some of the words:

You’re gonna fly with every dream you chase
You’re gonna cry, but know that that’s okay

We just have to believe things work out like they should
Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You’re gonna be
Always loved by me

The song tells the hopes and love I have for my children. It is the same love my grandparents had for me. And it is the love that Ted and I share - walking this road together. It is also my wish for you. That you will allow yourself to hope, to dream, and to love. When you do - your life will change - forever . . .

God bless you on this very special day - a day to celebrate Love!

And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
(1 John 4: 16)

In His Perfect Love,

Debbie & Ted Ayers


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