As I sit here, post-surgery, introspection takes my fingertips to task... :-)
Last Thursday, I had an ovarian wedge resection, laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, and selective HSG. I ended up staying in the hospital up overnight due to severe pain and illness, but my Husband stayed by my side throughout it all. Now, I am home and am recovering. How very blessed I am by my Husband who loves me, cherishes me, and nurtures me as his little treasure! Not only does he cherish me, but he has also shown me much about his dominance and leadership through his service.
In the past few days and, I suspect this will be true of the next several to come, I haven't been able to hardly lift a finger. If I am cold, my Husband will wrap me up in a blanket. If I am feeling ill, he holds me. If I need a cry, he will pet my head as I like him to do until the tears come and all of the anxiety, fear, and pain from the surgery bubbles out and is released. He checks my wounds and re-bandages them. He makes sure that I rest and, when I become too stir-crazy, he helps me take small outings.
"A Master is often a servant in disguise." This line comes from a favourite DD novel series of mine, the Dragonmaster "Land of Khys" series by Nettie Jones, but it strikes me as true in a whole new way today. Each party, regardless of role, is called to give wholly of themselves for the service of the other. I think that this is perhaps the "mutual submission" that St. Paul refers to in his epistles to the Church-- not a dumbing down of relationship roles within marriage, but a call to serving the needs of the other through our particular gifts, talents, and calling.
Christ Himself spoke of the greatest being the least and He not only humbled himself to wash his disciples feet, but He submitted to the will of the Father and died a cruel and vile death on the cross in our place. "Greater love than this no man hath," says Our Lord, "that a man lay down his life for his friends." If this is true of mere friendship, how much greater are we called to lay down ourselves for our spouse? How much more noble our dying to our passions of anger, impatience, bitterness, stubbornness, shrewish language, disregard, and disobedience?
What would happen in a world where we women were cherished beyond belief and served with love? Would this not foster a spirit of tender affection and thanksgiving? What if we loved back with our whole selves, as unto the Lord, and served our husbands with support, affirmation, thoughtfulness, submission, and obedience? What if we did these things anyway? As the proverbial phrase goes, what comes first: the chicken or the egg? The truth is, regardless of what we gain in return, we are called to give of ourselves without reserve. This is love.
This Christmas season, as we reflect on the love surrounding the Christ child-- the love of his parents, his adoring worshipers, and the love He held for us-- may we be inspired to become more like Christ Himself.
Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to all!