Monday, February 27, 2012
P4E.234 - The Look on Her Face
Not too long ago, my wife, Gwen, and I were with a group of people. At one point, while Gwen was talking, someone said something and Gwen got a look on her face. There was frustration and pain. It was a look of exasperation and hurt. The look said "I give up." It said, "I feel disrespected." It was a fleeting look and she quickly recovered and continued her conversation.
The embarrassing thing is that the look registered with me; I remember thinking at the time, wow, I don't often see that look. I hope Gwen's alright. But, after we left the gathering, I didn't remember to follow up with her.
A couple of days later, Gwen revisited that conversation and it was only then that I remembered the look. I say I was embarrassed because it sort of felt like Gwen was reminding me that she'd been shot a couple of days ago and I forgot to inquire about how she felt. Now, she didn't rub it in or anything, but I was more than a little mortified. The reason is that I am supposed to hold a position of spritual leadership. That means that I'm responsible to be aware of the spirits of those under my care. And certainly, Gwen is one of those. I'm reminded that I can become lax, callous, and unfeeling. I can be forgetful and a procrastinator.
It's weird, because as a businessman, I have been taught to pay attention to body language and voice inflection to read people in negotiations. It's especially important to observe the face and especially the eyes to gain insight into where someone is at in their emotions and psyche. As businessmen we do this to gain some advantage in negotiations. To pinpoint some weakness. To catch a lie. To find an opening for compromise. To exploit a fault.
But, as a husband, I need to remember to observe and to observe for different reasons. With Gwen, I need to watch her face, to listen to her voice inflection, to observe her body language to read her emotions. To read her spirit for the purpose of ministering to her. You may wonder what I mean. I've realized that when I talk about spiritual matters they will, or should, be couched in some form of Galatians 5 spirit language. That is, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Or the lack thereof.
When I sense that Gwen is not experiencing this fruit, then it's my responsibility to be there to do what I can to tend to her spirit. What can be even worse is when I'm the cause of her spiritual drop. Then I must not only quit sabatoging her spirit, I must move to repair the damage. This is a huge responsibility. But, I've come to believe that that's exactly what I signed up for when I became her husband. Now I gladly accept my work. And. it is work.
Jesus said, "My Father is always at his work, to this very day, and I, too, am working." My work includes belief. Belief includes action. Jesus encouraged Peter to express his love for Him by tending His lambs. So, in a way, Gwen is my lamb to tend. Given me by God to watch over. God help me in my work.