How to Love a Missionary

by - April 11, 2012

I hear the water trickling in the sink and I doze in the shadow of the bathroom light. It's just after 3 o'clock in the morning, and Mike has risen earlier than planned. I peek and see him slipping into the Nikes and adding to his suitcase, last minute, the largest baby wipes I've ever seen. They're supposed to be a shower without actually taking a shower, and he's going to need them in the Guatemalan jungle.

I wait until the last minute, then slip out of bed and dress. We descend the stairs together. He starts the coffee pot, and I look for the thermal to go cups. The dishwasher sits silent, still dirty. I complain as I fish the cups we need from the top rack and wash them by hand. "I asked Reagan last night to run it. She can't even turn a nob."

He laughs.

I tell him, "We may be getting some of the big stuff right, but we're missing it on so many little things with them."

He dries the cup and the lid, then, turning me from the sink, he wraps me in his arms and says, "I love you."

I mumble, "And I love you," into his collar bone where my face is buried and add, "probably too much."

Coffee poured, bags loaded, we turn the wheel east toward the airport. He prays out loud, both eyes open to the road before him. We talk of nothing in particular, the early morning air damp and heavy, the rest of the world quiet and asleep.

I enjoy these moments immensely because we so rarely have each other's undivided attention. There's no music, no phone, no one else. And I can't think of anything I've ever enjoyed more than that drive at 4 o'clock in the morning.

At the airport, I hug a few others who arrive while he unloads suitcases from the trunk. Intent on the mission before him, he steps straight toward the opening glass doors to the ticket counter. He has already left me behind.

I yell, "Wait!" and he returns, his apology in his eyes. His goodbye kiss is hasty because he's already thinking of travel, the group, and his God-work. He loves Jesus more than he loves me, and I am glad of it, maybe relieved. I drive home a little jealous of how well he knows that Jesus is Lord, even over the one flesh He made us.

Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.
~The words of Paul as recorded in 1 Corinthians 11:1

Sharing today's thought in online community.
Photos from 2010 Extreme Guatemala

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  1. blessings on both your work this week, in fields both home and abroad.

    such tenderness here.

  2. Such powerful thoughts Dawn. Praying for you as you keep the home fires burning and spend time interceding for those on the trip.

  3. Oh bless you. I am currently struggling a bit as my husband is experience a major growth spurt as a believer and I sometimes feel a bit left behind. But I too am thankful that he now loves Jesus more than me and leads our family so strongly. Praying for you now.
    Visiting from God Bumps :)

  4. And by the way, I love your header :)

  5. it is hard...the leaving...and you know there are times i want my wife to be there to and wish she could experience some of the things...and we have done trips together too....what you do even in the staying behind is an important part you know...

  6. Blessings to your family this week as you both Love Jesus well...blessings to you~

  7. There are parts to loving a missionary that are like loving a pastor. A great deal of my husbands thoughts,emotions,and energies go towards his ministry. We love what they do and know it's important but there's a part of me that wishes at times I could have a little more of him.

  8. I've been in your shoes many times. My husband travels around the world and sometimes I get to go along. But so thankful he loves Jesus more than me, so thankful.

  9. "probably too much"
    "he loves Jesus more than he loves me, and I am glad... even relieved"

    oh friend. there are tears in my eyes. this touched me so deeply...

  10. Sweetness. Perspective. A blessed story that I am glad you shared but I know, your days, so similar to when he is home, will be longer than his, filled with new people and surroundings. May it speed by for both of you.

  11. I can so identify -- with so much! Thank you for this transparent and moving sharing. God bless your week!

  12. What a wonderful thing - that you can say your husband loves Jesus even more than you! That makes him a real man!

  13. Thanks for bringing us along on this heart journey, prayers for both of you.

  14. I can think of no greater gift for a woman than to have a man who loves Jesus like that. You.Are.Blessed. Praying for his trip, and for you at home ...(Loved your photos, too!)

  15. I tell people all the time, the mission field is under your feet, bloom where you're planted. Your mission field is here and Mike's is the world; God bless you both.


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