Southbound I-71 commuter traffic started thickening.
He weaved in and out of the lanes.
The sun started to emerge to the left of us.
I put on my sun glasses.
He glanced and smiled at me.
I smiled back.
“Thank you for taking me to the airport this morning,” I said.
For some reason, it felt romantic.
“You bet. Glad to do it,” he replied, smiling.
I stared at the man I’ve been married to for 22 years and friends with for 27.
And then… things shifted.
His brow furrowed. “What are your plans for your next trip?” he inquired.
I wondered why he was asking me that. The sweet feelings of the moment began to fade. “What do you mean?”
“Are you okay with getting to the airport by yourself, or do you need me to take you?” he asked.
Hmmm. I still didn’t know why he’s asking me that. I started to feel a little sad.
He glanced at the clock.
I began to wonder. “Do you regret taking me this morning?” I asked.
“What?” he asked, brow furrowing further.
I started to wonder if it was more than the traffic. Maybe he’s going to be late for a meeting. Maybe he isn’t enjoying our time together and is getting stressed out about getting me to the airport and then getting himself to work.
I didn’t know what to say. So I just told the truth. “I’m wondering if you are wishing you hadn’t taken me this morning, or if this is causing you stress.”
“I’m glad to take you. I’m just wondering what your plans were for the other trips this fall. I thought it would be nice to take you to the airport this morning and spend some time together before you left today, but we haven’t talked through the other trips, so I was wondering.”
He was wondering.
And I had a choice.
I could get some exercise jumping to conclusions this morning and ruin the moment, or I could ask the Father for help.
I opted to ask for help. “Lord, what should I do here?”
He brought His Word to mind and I remembered Jesus in the garden the night before He died. Never before in the scriptures had we seen Him so upset. Mark 14: 34-38 shares part story like this: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Ever been so upset you could just die? And then on top of that, being let down by your friends? By one of your best friends?
But what did he do? He focused on what was true – He gave Peter the benefit of the doubt about his heart, and yet knew his body was weak.
I thanked God for the reminder.
I could carry on with my feelings, which had the power to take me down a path of resentment and damage my relationship (which is where the enemy was tempting me), or to give my husband the benefit of the doubt, and focus on truth, instead of lies. I asked God and myself, “What is true?”
I knew this man liked to plan. I knew he loved me. I knew what he just said. He probably didn’t realize the timing of the question took away from the moment.
Granted, I would not have asked the question using the timing he had. But it would be unfair to judge him. He wasn’t one of my girlfriends, my sister, nor was he me. So I shared that while focusing on what was true. “I see. You are just trying to figure out what works for your schedule in the future? I am fine driving myself to the airport and I’ve done it before. I will tell you that it feels like a relational withdrawal when you ask me this now, however. It takes some of the ‘special’ out of the moment for me because of the timing of the question.”
He looked perplexed. “The timing of the question?”
And I was right, he had no idea.
That’s actually a good thing. I then could be certain he wasn’t trying to hurt me on purpose, nor was he being completely callous. I remembered that men are systems-based in their brains, more than being relational. I remembered the brain research about the significant differences between the genders (at least for about 85% of us) and I decided to save the moment and give him the benefit of the doubt. There’s a lot men don’t know about how women think, and many of them don’t have the ability to transfer learning in one situation to another when it has to do with communication and relationships. I could be patient or angry because of selfishness.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins,” 1 Peter 4:8 floated through mind, making the decision.
Thank you, Father.
I chose love.
“It’s not a big deal, honey,” I said.
I was thankful. Even though some may perceive this as him, “blowing it,” I didn’t make it worse, and God showed me his heart, and reminded me that His own Son has been through worse and behaved well. He also showed me what to do in the middle – speak the truth in love.
Just like Christ.
We can do well in the small moments of the day if we’ll but ask for help.
Dare you today to get your nose in the book. Double dog dare you to ask the Father for help in the small. It will create habits and history for the big moments.
Glad you are on the journey with me! You are good company.
Love to you,
What about you? Are there small moments where you’ve received help from the Father? Dare you to share here today, being a Titus 2 woman of influence in our corner of the internet.