My travelin' man was home for a couple of days over the weekend. i had been crazy anticipating this time since he was gone 12 out of the first 14 days of June.
But this time, he came home kinda cripply.
He does that sometimes... He has a bad back - and the chronic pain over the years has taken it's toll. We've spent thousands trying different treatments and ideas, different pain killers, physio, chiropractor, doctors... but so far we haven't found any magical solutions.
And most of the time, i don't notice that he's in pain. He doesn't whine about it - so sometimes i'll notice because of a little catch in his breath when he rolls over or the rattling of the Advil bottle at 6am or the fact that it takes him several minutes to get in and out of the vehicle.
And it's easy for me - as the person who is not in pain - to scorn grace. It's easy to be frustrated with a quieter man, to think that he's growly because *OBVIOUSLY HE HATES ME*, or to get angry when i see the precious hours that we get together flying by - and he's got nothing to give.
But suddenly - God gave me some fresh eyes.
It's like when my little ones are growly or tearful right before supper because they're hungry. It's like when my teens get too little sleep and they can't understand why they feel like a grenade with the pin already pulled. It must be horribly uncomfortable to live with pain constantly hovering...
Oh, Paige - grace, grace and more grace.
And i could suddenly imagine the Herculean effort it took to take me out for that morning drive. i could see how much he loved me when he didn't punch me in the face when i leapt on him laughing and grabbing his face - instead, he offered me the kisses he knew i craved. i could see how home must feel like an oasis where he's not selling anything - and where all we want is him - cripply or not. He's ours.
God knows, Neil didn't choose to be in pain.
And so i peek in forgotten corners, bringing little humbling bits of truth to light, i glance under thick uncomfortable layers... searching, searching, searching... and ultimately...