from an article originally posted April 3, 2014…
Back in the day at Eagle Lake, I met regularly with a most lovely woman named Anna Kraft. We all called her Krafty. She was a sweet thing from California, and the deep desire of her heart was to love and know Jesus. I felt like I was the prize when she asked if I would meet with her. She was the first person I ever met with formally. I was humbled and excited to be asked.
Our time was mostly spent in prayer together and talking about our own time with Jesus. We called it our dates with Jesus. We had a favorite rock we shared, and we simply shared our love stories in our time reading the Bible and prayed. Oh, that time we spent together praying was my favorite. Those times still are a special treasure near to my heart.
One day Anna told me a love story. It is a love story that has always stayed with me, my memory of the details are frayed around the edges a bit, so I’m going to take a little creative liberty.
We will call the couple Henry and June. Henry and June were married over 60 and shared a quiet love together. Then one day June went home to be with Jesus, leaving Henry to live his final days without his June by his side.
Henry found himself doing tasks he had never done: cooking, cleaning, laundry. Load after load of laundry he started to notice something. Henry noticed that every night as he took off his clothes he left them inside out. They entered and exited the wash as he had left them.
Then one day it dawned on him as he was looking over his simple pile of laundry. Henry found himself weeping over his laundry. In that moment, he met the giant love that had come to his drawer every day for over sixty years.
You see, Henry noticed that his June had lovingly righted his shirts without complaint the entirety of their marriage. He saw the breathtaking love of his wife in that small moment. She could have asked him to right his shirts before they entered the laundry, but she didn’t. In that simple act, she loved Henry.
After she was gone, this moment, this realization met him and spoke great big love to his heart.
As I tackle my days, I think of June. Do I love in the big and small places through my day? Do I right the impossibly small skinny jeans of my girls with love or frustration? Do I see these small acts as my privilege and honor in loving? How do I push through my own pain today and love another? Yesterday I had a friend who had far better things to do with her time come and love me like this. She came and sterilized our home. She righted a lot that was messy and wrong. She was my June. Quietly loving me so big.
We all love the big showy moments of love that make for wonderful YouTube videos, but this love—this love that may go unnoticed for 60 years—matters. But more than the act of love is the attitude of our hearts in these tasks. Many days we fumble through our chores with a grumpy heart, as though these tasks are beneath us. But these tasks—these hard messy tasks—can be the essence of very big love extended to another.
What small places are you called to love big today?