"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
It is late when the phone rings and his name pops up on my phone.
“Hi honey,” I answer. “Are you just leaving?”
“Yes. It’s late. I’m sorry,” he says. “It has been a long day. I’m tired, hungry, and feeling a bit angry.”
“Will you go straight to meet your friend,” I ask.
“Yes. It’s too late to come home for dinner now.”
“I thought so; but please make sure to stop for something on your way. You’ll be too hungry if you wait to eat until you get home.”
This is not how I thought the evening would go. I can tell he is agitated and I wish I could reach across the miles between us and give him a hug.
“You’re upset, aren’t you?” he wonders into the phone. “I’m sorry.”
“About dinner? No. I figured you wouldn’t be home as it got later and later. Plus, dinner is not ready yet because I set the rice to simmer on the wrong setting. I’m trying to fix it now,” I say half smiling and half groaning inwardly. I add, “I did hope you might be able to pick up a few things for me; but they’ll keep until later.”
“You’re sure you’re not mad?” he asks again.
“Yes. I’m sure. What I am concerned about is that you’re headed out angry and hungry and tired. That is not a very good mindset for a conversation with a friend. So what I am doing is praying for you. I’m praying that you would receive God’s peace right now. I’m praying that you would leave behind the frustration and anger and weight of the day, that they would just fall away. I am praying that you would know that I am not upset, but I am thankful for you and glad you are making time for your friend. I am praying that you will be fully present with him—to listen well and respond with the grace and peace of Christ.”
“Thank you,” he lets out with a sigh.
“You’re welcome. So. If anyone cuts you off on your way they probably have had a rough day like you. Be gracious.” I encourage. Then, knowing him I ask, “Do you need to go now so you can unwind a little on your way?”
“Yes. That would be great,” he says honestly.
“Okay. Well, I’ll see you when you get home. I love you. Bye.”
After I hang up the phone and fix a plate for dinner I think about my husband.
I think about tough days. Mine has been full too and I am feeling tired.
I think about how I love prayers and words of blessing any time. Yet, on tough days words of blessing provide release from what has come before and the peace to walk forward with renewed energy and reclaimed purpose.
I think about how my husband has done this for me so many times. I think about how thankful I am to be able to do the same for him.
I think about this and give thanks for the way marriage makes the both of us better.
Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we extend just that to others. May we know the joy of lifting up one another with encouragement in the strength of Christ.