Today when my husband answered the door in cargo shorts and a well-loved t-shirt, Marcelo (the man who delivers our drinking water) curiously inquired, "So you have the summer off your job then?" I heard his question through the window and thought, "Oh, if he only knew!" Such is the interesting dichotomy of a missionary pastor's life. Those on the outside of church wonder what exactly it is he does. Sometimes it's even a little embarrassing to think they might assume because my husband is home at times during the day, he doesn't work all that much. On the other hand, they know nothing of his early morning office hours, late-night phone calls, emotion-laden pastoral visits and dedicated times of study and discipleship.
On this particular Saturday, Marcelo couldn't realize that Pedro had woken before 4 a.m. to do an airport run for a family from church whose daughter suffered a scary accident yesterday. Nor did he know that my husband had afterwards taken only a brief nap before rising to prepare me a delicious breakfast omelet, prior to heading back out to shop for a family from church facing a major move today. In fact, Pedro had only just returned from dropping off needed items to that family when Marcelo arrived with our weekly water delivery. And no sooner had Marcelo departed then Pedro took another phone call which resulted in driving back to the family's home to pick up their children and deliver them to our colleagues' home for babysitting, allowing just enough time for him to sit down with us for a very quick bite of lunch and birthday cake before joining the official moving party at 2 p.m.
Which all leads me to write this post. This morning, very briefly I felt a twinge of temptation to think, "It's my birthday! I want to be able to sit down peacefully with my family and enjoy this day, rather than having my husband rushing in and out taking care of other people's needs." But overwhelmingly stronger was a sense of gratitude for having a husband who cares so much for us - and for others.
So this is for you, Sweets. On my 39th birthday I just want to say that you are the best birthday gift I have been given. I thank God for you and your love for Him, your family and others which you demonstrate in your kindness and service. I love you!