Monday, June 23, 2014

someone to watch over me

I remember when I was single, I once got a flat on the highway. I sobbed and I sobbed like the world was ending. Or I would get an unexpected bill and flip out and have heart palpitations and feel like "OHMYGOSHMYLIFESUCKS!!! I might as well DIE right now!!!!" Everything was such a BIG, HORRIFIC, GIANT DEAL.

Once when Chris and I were dating, he drove me to the Philly airport after I had flown up for a visit. We arrived and found out that all the flights were delayed for hours and hours because of some sort of catastrophic computer glitch. I automatically started hyperventilating because, "I HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW!! THIS AIRPORT IS HUGE!!!!!! ALL THESE PEEEEEEOOOOPPPPPLLLLEEEE!!!!!" And Chris very matter-of-factly grabbed his cell phone, called the airline and informed them that they would be rescheduling my flight for tomorrow, but change the airport to Harrisburg instead of Philly thankyouverymuch. (He didn't ASK. He INFORMED. My 20 year old self didn't even know this was a thing.) And then he called my boss (HE CALLED MY BOSS, PEOPLE!) and calmly explained the situation and informed her that I wouldn't be into work the next day. (He didn't ASK. He INFORMED. My 20 year old self didn't know this was a thing.)

I think this was the first time that I knew that I really really loved Chris Strayer. Call me repressed, but it feels pretty stinking good to have someone take care of me. 10 years into this thing, and he's been there when the bills flood our mailbox, and when the ceiling opens up at 1 am and floods our bedroom. He's been there when my mom had cancer, and when we stood peering over the metal sides of our daughter's hospital bed, terrified at what the future would bring. And it wasn't quite so scary, because there was someone else to buffer life before it slammed into me.

Isn't this why the Bible says that marriage is an illustration of Christ and the Church? You're never alone. There is always someone with you to navigate it. Crap still happens, but it's first filtered through the hand of a loving God. And then filtered through the hand of a loving husband, who deals with the brunt of it as he covers his wife with his body, protecting her. We have these shade-cloths over the girls' little pool outside. They are triangular strips of fabric meant to give relief from the sun, but not completely block it. Because of the cloths, the sun is no longer hot and scorching and dangerous to the girls. It is warm and comfortable and fun. Chris is like our family's shade cloth-- he protects us from the worst of the elements, absorbing them onto his own back. He is our covering.

We have been through a lot of crap, Chris and I. Some of it has been my fault, some of it has been his. In fact, sometimes he's been a downright douche bag. But he's been HERE. He's been fielding the calls, and putting out fires before I even knew they had ignited. He faithfully goes out and battles the big world everyday, so that his girls can nestle into our safe little world at home.

Sometimes love looks like roses and champagne and romantic trips. But sometimes? Sometimes love looks an awful lot like someone calling the airline and rescheduling your flight for you. Don't miss it just because it doesn't look the way you expected it to.

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