Brant inched forward in the communion line. He seethed. His wife was usually in front of him at church, but not today. They had a blowout fight the night before. She was just so stubborn and nagging and always blamed everything on him. It felt like he had been angry at her for a whole year. He hissed under his breath, "I have the most difficult wife."
It felt good.
Before church had begun, a friend in the lobby saw him and asked if he was okay. Brant told him about it. His friend looked at Brant with compassionate eyes and said, “That's really hard. But as a Christian, right now at least, this is on you, Brother. This is when we are asked to forgive.”
"But that won’t fix her! She needs to know how difficult she is! She needs to be corrected and—and—punished or something!”
"I know it feels that way. Maybe in time you both can work to break ugly patterns. But for today, your role is to let it break you, and let forgiveness pour out to purify her. And when you can again recognize her as someone beautiful worth saving, then you two can work on restoration."
Brant had nodded, and with an effort to hide his adamant disagreement, said thanks.
He was almost at the front of the line. And he was in as much of an internal rage as he had been all morning. He indicted her under his breath again, “I have the most difficult wife!”
In a blur he took the cracker and dipped it in the wine. He started walking back to his seat and in that moment when one is to turn the mind to Jesus he prayed, "God, just show her how difficult she is."
As he bit into the wet cracker he heard in response, “It is not you that has the most difficult wife, Brant. I do.”
Brant crumpled into his seat. His face slowly sunk into his cupped hands and the heat of tears pushed out the heat of anger. He whispered, “I’m sorry, God. Help me love her." He took a deep shaky breath and continued, "Thank you for letting my brokenness break you, so your holiness can spill over me.”
Raw Spoon, 11-30-2020
(This story was inspired by a friend that was told these words by God.)