“At the heart of humankind’s existence is the desire to be intimate and to be loved by another. Marriage is designed to meet that need for intimacy and love. That is why the ancient biblical writings spoke of the husband and wife becoming “one flesh.” That did not mean that individuals would lose their identity; it meant that they would enter into each other’s lives in a deep and intimate way”.
~~Dr. Gary Chapman
Should you despair over a relationship gone bad…take a minute and think about the person who has never known what it’s like to love and be loved in return.
“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.”
― Katharine Hepburn
How Thou didst commend Thy love
When Thou didst whisper in my ears
“I am thine and thou art Mine.”
Kind were those accents
When Thou saidst,
“The Father Himself loveth you.”
And sweet the moments, passing sweet
When Thou declaredst to me
The love of the Spirit.
Never shall my soul forget
Those chambers of fellowship
Where Thou has unveiled Thyself to me.
SO I PRAY TODAY:
Precious Lord Jesus,
Give me a fresh draught
Of Thy wondrous love
To begin this month with.
And let Thy love be shed abroad
In every heart that’s willing to receive.
My alarm went off
It was Sunday again.
I was sleepy and tired
My one day to sleep in.
But the guilt I would feel
The rest of the day
Would have been too much
So I’d go and I’d pray.
I showered and shaved
I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat
In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer
As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me
Touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side
I thought, “Why must our soles touch?”
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine
But it didn’t bother him much.
A prayer began: “Our Father”…
I thought, “This man with the shoes
has no pride.
They’re dusty, worn, and scratched
Even worse, there are holes on the side!”
“Thank You for blessings,” the prayer went on.
The shoe man said
a quiet “Amen.”
I tried to focus on the prayer
But my thoughts were on his shoes again.
Aren’t we supposed to look our best
When walking through that door?
“Well, this certainly isn’t it,” I thought,
Glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended
And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud
Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters
His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear
The shoe man’s voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering
And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached
Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out
What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft “clink”
as when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me
To tears, and that’s no lie
It was the same for the shoe man
For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service
As is the custom here
We must greet new visitors
And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow
And wanted to meet the shoe man
So after the closing prayer
I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark
And his hair was truly a mess
But I thanked him for coming
For being our guest.
He said, “My names’ Charlie
I’m glad to meet you, my friend.”
There were tears in his eyes
But he had a large, wide grin
“Let me explain,” he said
Wiping tears from his eyes.
“I’ve been coming here for months
And you’re the first to say ‘Hi.'”
“I know that my appearance
Is not like all the rest
“But I really do try
To always look my best.
“I always clean and polish my shoes
Before my very long walk.
“But by the time I get here
They’re dirty and dusty, like chalk.”
My heart filled with pain
and I swallowed to hide my tears
As he continued to apologize
For daring to sit so near.
He said, “When I get here
I know I must look a sight.
“But I thought if I could touch you
Then maybe our souls might unite.”
I was silent for a moment
Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison
I spoke from my heart, not my head.
“Oh, you’ve touched me,” I said,
“And taught me, in part;
“That the best of any man
Is what is found in his heart.”
The rest, I thought,
This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am
That his dirty old shoe touched my soul……
~From the book “Just an Average Joe” by Joe Gonzalez (2005)
Found it interesting when I read it years ago. Touched my heart. Hope it touches everyone’s heart.
Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
Many have been very careful in their choice of partners, yet those same carefully chosen partners became their downfall one way or the other. It still baffles! Still many others threw caution to the wind in their partner choice and through those partners became successful in life. Still baffles! So I’m tempted to say as usual that after all is said and done, “it’s a chance we all take…there are no guarantees because only God knows the future”.
But when God is in it…I believe the percentage of failure is minimal because He will always guide as long as we let Him. A man’s heart always leads him astray. Of course, many at times God has been involved but we still crushed but when you think back it’s almost always the case that someway somehow we did not completely “let go and let God”.
I understand it’s never easy to completely relegate our humanness to the background 100 percent…there’s always that interference. But I guess God is not looking for 100 percent cos that will be like denying our very existence and all the emotions and abilities God himself placed in us; He’s only looking to have the bigger percentage in that life choice and decision.
He just wants to be the biggest shareholder! And He wants to be the centre of every marriage because “except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).
Now here is a good place that I will like to take a moment to ponder over this thought; you are welcome to do same:
“What guides my relationship/marriage? What defines it? Where does the biggest percentage go?”
May He grant us Grace!
Your love awakens my soul
And plants a fire in my heart
And leaves me wishing for more
If only I were God
I will waste no time in making you a Goddess
If I were a trader
I will trade in all my goods in exchange for you
If I were a soothsayer
I will say many soothing words
Just to make your future one to forever spend with me
If I were the wind
I will blow away all obstacles
So you could be mine alone forever
If I were a miner
I will dig even to bottomless depths
Just to discover thy most precious jewels
If I was an artist
I would use the jewels in you
To make a perfect art of beauty
More perfect than the arts of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
And If I were a preacher
I will preach mighty sermons
Only by your humble figure and love
Only Heaven knows how much I adore you
And the many things I keep wishing I were
Just to fully demonstrate my love for you
But I am just me
Wishing above all else
That you will accept me just as I am
Not for what I am not or wish I were
© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)
The bravest step I’ve ever taken
Is agreeing to part with you
And though we’re miles apart
You’re so close at heart
The distance makes our hearts fonder
‘Cos our love seems much stronger
Though I will give any ransom
Just to feel your warmth
Just want you to know
Everything with you
Is better than anything without you
By: Juliana Mana Edor
(Wife & Co-blogger)
Many see love as merely a feeling; others as merely a choice.
Love merely as a FEELING can best be described as having no patience to wait; it must be satisfied with its objects instantly. It is more sensual and selfish and wrapped up in immediacy.
Love as a CHOICE rises above feelings and the present to the unseen and the future. Though seemingly above feelings, it is not necessarily opposed to it; it works through it and makes it subordinate to its influence and end. It is more sacrificial and works “in spite of”.
On the grounds of EASE and INDULGENCE and PRESENT INTEREST, love as a feeling takes upper hand over love as a choice; but it is however ephemeral or short-lived. Also when reason cannot comprehend and see things God’s way, it is love as merely a feeling that triumphs or rules.
However, when the soul or heart is fully convinced of the FAILURE and INSUFFICIENCY of mere sensuality in satisfying its requirements for the future rewards it seeks in a lasting relationship, love as merely a feeling fails.
Love as a CHOICE is a power that thrives in light but also has confidence in the dark. It works with all the evidences the case in hand (relationship) produces and tries to live in harmony with all circumstances, changing those it can and coping with those it cannot.
Feelings of the heart most often precede the choices it makes because the human heart is open and awaken to seeing and feeling things as they are before choices are made. However, love as a choice demonstrates its superiority in circumstances that baffle the sensuous reasoning of love as a feeling.
In spite of the above expositions however, the UNITY of the two phases (love as a feeling and as a choice) is essential in making all relationships strong and happy. When they are DIVIDED (operating separately), the happiness of a relationship is marred; and its strength of heart and character is sheared.
Rightly put, what you feel for someone is only about you but it is the things you chose to do for the one you love as a result of what you feel that counts.
First published on courageahiati.wordpress.com on November 3, 2014 as Guest Blogger.