I pushed open our front door, and immediately an amazing aroma drifted my way. Blonde curls stood shoulder high and blonde curls peered at me knee high. My wife Dusty and my curly-headed 2-year-old grinned from ear to ear. "Happy anniversary!" Dusty exclaimed with a broad smile spread across her face.
Yesterday, March 10th, was our wedding anniversary. My wife Dusty completely surprised me and made my favorite dinner. It was a dinner that my mom used to make. Beef barley stew, complete with biscuits and a homemade apple pie from scratch. The time it takes to put a meal together while taking care of a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old is really an incredible gesture of love. I won't even mention that the process for putting together this specific stew takes hours. I can assure you though, the flavor is well worth it! It is so much more than just food, it nurtures the spirit and mind. It might be easy to think that it's just dinner, but it is much more than that.
Several thoughts became clear as I was feasting on stew and biscuits: The time and loving effort it took Dusty to make this meal while teaching and training our kids, was a reflection of Christ's love. Sometimes I trivialize the every day, but this daily expression of love that my wife was giving our little family was a deeply meaningful example of how Jesus loves people.
God commands us to worship through song, but he also beckons us to worship him in "word and deed". Worship should be a daily act of love and communion with God and each other. Chopping veggies while your toddler is pulling everything out of the bottom cabinet is worship. This is something my wife does on a daily basis. It is also something I watched my mother live out every day of my childhood. In Colossians Paul writes:
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:15-16
It is easy to think that worship is something we do on Sunday mornings. We stand up and sing a few songs, then we're done. Worship should be a daily offering to the Lord, "whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus." I don't think it is a coincidence that Paul writes about singing, and then follows up with, "do everything, in word or deed." It is vitally important that our perspective on worship goes beyond singing a few songs on Sundays.
I was blessed through my childhood to see this lived out every day by my mom's labors of love for her family. When she passed away early in 2013, this example of loving others daily has continued to etch itself in my mind. My mom had a heart for worship, not just singing, (although she loved to worship through song!) she lived her life day in, and day out to glorify God. She lived out Paul's words in Colossians 3.
So when I got home from work yesterday and the aroma of stew and apple pie met me at the door it was much more than a good meal, it was much more than an anniversary surprise. It was an example of how Christ's love can transcend what we view as ordinary and make it extraordinary.
She is beyond describing.
She loved roses and gardens,
books and babies
and baking whole wheat bread.
She believed in good things, in
truth and encouragement,
benefiting the listener.
She loved teaching and cooking,
sharing and sewing,
and serving others.
She was brave, bold, zealous
for life and learning and loving
She inspired, motivated, changed
and every person
to cross her path.
the deep, life sustaining
with Jesus Christ
that bore her through her own life
unto the end,
and now the beginning.
She was brilliant, creative, and
beautiful does not describe her.
Fair perhaps, lovely, or