“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
“Remember years ago when I told you to stop calling me knucklehead?” I told my ex-husband on the telephone about a half hour after we had met at our usual fast food restaurant where we gathered periodically to study the Bible and catch up. He couldn’t remember. Age had gotten us both when it came to our memories. But between the two of us we could patch together different memories.
I felt it best to remind him. “Yeah, I told you to come up with a new nickname,” I told my country boy ex-husband. I should have known better back then. “Remember what the new name was?” I prodded him. He didn’t. “You called me a heifer,” I told him. That’s a cow, if you’re not aware. Not too romantic, is it? Not better than knucklehead, eh?
“Well, it’s all in the way you say it,” he said with a laugh.
“Yeah right,” I joked along with him. “Try saying it.”
“Ya’ ole’ heifer,” he said with his big southern accent.
Oh my! What a laugh I got out of it. I even got off the phone laughing.
But more than anything I couldn’t help but think of the beauty of Christ. What did Christ’s beauty have to do with heifers? With knuckleheads? With the least romantic and loving way I can imagine a husband calling his wife, or in this case an ex-husband calling his ex-wife?
Christ’s love. Christ’s forgiveness. Christ’s mercy. Christ’s grace. Christ’s compassion. Christ’s healing. Christ’s strength. God’s awesomeness through Christ. For shortly before our phone call we had gathered with a friend of his because my ex-husband was in need of love, encouragement, strength, and support. He had led us in prayer, we had opened our Bibles and studied some, then opened our hearts and shared pieces of our stories. We had shared laughter – and tears. We had testified of God’s amazing love, and confessed some of our struggles, hurts, and wounded places. We had left with hugs, love and laughter. We had the love and peace of Christ between us now after years of brokenness and a devastatingly difficult, destructive, and dangerous, sin-ridden marriage.
Only the Lord could have brought His perfect agape love between two people who had torn each other to shreds in their sin. A man and an ole’ heifer, that is. Laughing as a testimony of what only God can do. Heal brokenness and teach us to love Him with all our hearts and to love one another in Christ’s name. Knuckleheads, heifers, and all. Need healing?