Friday, November 18, 2005

Reason #12: He Was Young and Vigorous...

One of my DH's favorite movies is "The Mask of Zorro." He often uses the analogy of Zorro in his sermons to illustrate how we sometimes place truth before love on our agendas. It is easy to justify using the Sword of truth (God's Word, otherwise known as the Bible) to cut someone all to shreds (figuratively, of course) and then try to show God's love to the "bloody pulp" that is left.

I don't know why my DH liked "Zorro" so much, but I did enjoy the movie. My favorite phrase in the movie is when Antonio Banderas had just left Catherine Zeta-Jones after a memorable sword scene. Flushed and flustered, Elena (Zeta-Jones) tried to explain what had transpired to her "father," who was chasing Zorro (Banderas). In describing her encounter with Zorro, Elena (Zeta-Jones) sputtered, "He was young and vigorous, Father... he was very vigorous!".

Like, Zorro, my husband was once young and vigorous... very vigorous! (I wrote about his physical stature in several previous posts.) He is starting to show the middle-age bulge, and complains about aches and pains in his back that were never there before. As I see him sprouting more gray hairs, and getting more bald, it occurs to me that he is getting old.

I don't know why that comes as such a shock to me. I certainly have been aware of my own gray hairs and saggy body parts, and the general all-over body aches of a pre-menopausal woman. I was hoping, of course, that he didn't notice!

One of the joys of an intimate marriage is the freedom to be "naked and unashamed" in front of each other, just as Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, before they fell in disobedience. Through their sin, we have inherited the effects of the curse: pain, sickness, and death, just to name a few evils.

Growing old is a necessary stage in the cycle of life and death. Physical maturity wasn't designed by the Creator to be ugly and painful. We can only see rare glimpses of the beauty that God intended, like the lacy, transparent skin of a grandma's hands, or the softness of her weather-worn cheeks; or the silver sparkles in her snowy hair. We might notice the tender gruffness of a grandpa's whiskers, or the wisened lines of his forehead, or the curve of his bent shoulders, from carrying the weight of the world far too long.

We are not taught to revere our elders, and respect old age. Mostly, we just fear being naked, and experience the shame of growing old.

I'm thankful that we can both grow old gracefully together. Lord, help me not to take for granted the intimacy we share--it took years to grow. He may have been young and vigorous once, but I will love him even when he is old and weak.