Where This Meets That
Any parent can relate to the sleepless nights that typically accompany the wee ones.
One recent night, I awoke shortly after 4 a.m. to the screams of our newest addition, Catherine, now 11 months old. My wife, Christy, was trying to soothe her but was herself exhausted and near tears because she’d already been working at it for nearly two hours before I finally stirred.
Being shaken from sleep by two distraught ladies inclined me to a little grumpiness of my own. I cursed under my breath as my wife pleaded for sleep. I rubbed my eyes and forehead to get my bearings, and in my clearing fog, I received a simple little message from God that changed everything for me in that dark, grumpy room.
But first, a step back. I freely admit that I am not a very active “pray-er”. I don’t regularly recite rote prayers, nor do I frequently go off on extended free-form prayer soliloquies. I do, however, think about and talk to God in countless little points each day. When I discussed it with a friend, he called it “‘tweeting’ God.”
It’s a good description. And I think God’s okay with it; after all, he calls us to prayer. It strikes me that he “gets it.” He’s blessed me with a marriage, five young children, a home, and a career, and as a result, I’m busy. Too busy for God? No way. But too busy for a long conversation when a simple “tweet” will do? Perhaps.
So, sitting on my bed in the dark at 4-something a.m., wiping furrowed brow, cursing over some of my greatest blessings, I might not be the most receptive guy to a call for prayer. Instead, God “tweets” me.
Clear as a spark in the dark. This tweet isn’t a reprimand. There’s no judgment here, no condemnation. There’s not even really any firmness to it, only rightness.
My wife is his daughter. She needs help.
The burden is gone immediately. My eyes clear. My heart warms. I take our baby downstairs and make her a bottle. While my wife finally falls back to sleep above me, I feed Catherine in the La-Z-Boy, and pray.
I reflect on the profundity of those two words. What an efficient rule for marriage! How many books have been written on the subject? How many talks given and counselors compensated? All this in two words. Of course, if God indeed created Earth in seven days, you gotta hand it to him . . . the dude can be efficient!
I relay the story to Christy the following night, after the kids are in bed (hopefully for the night!). When I hail God’s efficient, two-word tip for marriage, she gently responds, “Well, why not, instead, just . . . ‘Serve’?”
Without a moment’s thought, she has simultaneously pruned half of God’s astoundingly simple rule for marriage and made it instead universal.
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