Vulnerability and Random Acts of Kindness

All too many of us come to marriage with the notion that we are in it to be served. When each of us is independently able to care for our most common of all needs, that is an easy error to make.

However, when either of us loses some capacity, as I have recently with the tear in my Achilles Tendon and subsequent surgery, the dynamic changes. I’m not unique in this and there will be a time of recovery from this disability. We’ll look at others of us who have permanent disabilities and as such a disparity in the need to be served and to serve.

Simple things that we all take for granted like getting out of bed and to and from the bathroom, getting in and out of the shower, putting on clothes, getting to and from the dining table, picking up stuff from the floor, finding a comfortable way to sleep, all bring a new perspective on “partnership”… at least from my vantage point on the knee scooter and this infernal boot I have to wear.

Right now I am highly dependent on The Gorgeous Redhead’s ministering hands to care for my most basic needs. A cascading flood of emotions follows, fearful dependence, extreme gratitude, and embarrassment that I’m not carrying my share of the load.

Yesterday I had to sit with my foot propped up while my bride chased our lawnmower around the 3.5 miles of passes that are required to mow our lawn. That’s my job and I can’t do it right now.

We loaded the car last evening to bring me to town for a doctor appointment this afternoon. I could not help load the car or drive. That’s not easy for me.

What I do get in all of this is how grateful I am that Barb and I are putting random acts of kindness into our Marriage Box from which we can withdraw benefits whenever we wish.

I know our commitment is to have Servant’s Hearts toward each other, and I’m profoundly grateful that we are not on a quid pro quo basis. We each put all we can into our Marriage Box so we can take out whatever we need.

At some point in your marriage, there may come a time when either of you may be struck down with some debilitation that robs you of the ability to do things you’ve always taken for granted. Unless you have made a lifetime of putting those random acts of kindness into your Marriage Box, you may be ill prepared to continue to serve one another during those hard times.

You can’t wait until the last minute to start.

Here’s a question for you who have all your parts working and for any of you who do not, with apologies to Capital Bank: What’s in your Marriage Box?

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.