Friday, November 11, 2011

The Impact of Love

As I grew up, my Uncle Buddy was a part of every major event. He remembered every birthday, every graduation, every wedding.  When he would call to speak to my father, his older brother, he would talk to me -- the baby of the family -- for twenty minutes, as though I were someone.  In fact, Uncle Buddy always seemed to make everyone feel as if they were "someone".  He and my Aunt Mary have been married as long as I can remember.  They are two kind, thoughtful and loving people.

Aunt Mary always took care of Uncle Buddy, her children and everyone else who needed care.  The two of them reached out their arms and their home to others to give love and support and shelter.  Now Aunt Mary  mainly takes care of Uncle Buddy. 

Time has ravaged my Uncle Buddy's sharp mind and the man who remembered everyone's special occasions no longer recognizes any of us.  But Aunt Mary recognizes him.  She goes to the veteran's nursing home each day to feed him breakfast and lunch.  She talks to him as she has for decades, sharing the moments of the day with him.  She feeds him, bathes him, in essence, she loves him.   She loves him as she has done for years and years and years. 

Aunt Mary probably has little thought that the care and love she bestows upon her husband ripples past the room of the nursing home where he lives.  But it does. It flows as a small stream flows to the river and the river flows to become the ocean.  Her love, manifested in her faithfulness in being there, and her faithfulness in caring, has had a huge impact upon others.  I know because they have told me so.

Last week I was present at a Men's Prayer Breakfast to sing with my husband.  These men know that my father was one of the men who started the Prayer Breakfast and they know that Buddy and Mary are my Uncle and Aunt. Each week they pray for Uncle Buddy and Aunt Mary.

Before I left, man after man came to tell me of Aunt Mary's faithful love and care of Uncle Buddy and what a testimony it was to them.  Their respect and admiration were apparent in how they told their story and in how important it was to relay the story to me, Buddy's niece. 

While loving my Uncle Buddy is something my Aunt Mary can't conceive of not doing, her choice to do so, and to do so in practical ways, speaks volumes to those who watch her do it.  Her love in those daily ways are an example to us all that love must be shown not only by what we feel, but by what we do.

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 
But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, 
and was made in the likeness of men. 
And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, 
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." 
Philippians 2:6-8

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