Harris & Mary

Sometimes you see something in life that just makes you stop and say … “I’ve just seen Jesus!”  I had such an experience this week.  No, it wasn’t in Easter worship when we had someone dressed up as Jesus for a Gospel drama.  No, it wasn’t in the miniseries “The Bible.”  Instead, what REALLY showed me Jesus was an elderly man in my congregation by the name of Harris.  You see, Harris showed love in a way that is totally uncommon among sinful men.  Harris loved his dear wife, Mary, as Jesus loves us. 

For nearly 54 years, Harris gave his beloved bride,  Mary,  everything he could to bring joy to her life.  Even when she was confined to a wheelchair by the debilitating power of Parkinson’s disease, Harris didn’t stop loving her.  In fact, he loved her even more.  I would watch in awe as Harris would wheel Mary into church, no matter how bad the weather, and sit next to her with adoring eyes of love throughout the service.  I watched Harris sit with Mary for long hours as she was in the hospital battling for her life.  I watched Harris shedding tears of sorrow for his beloved as he was in one hospital bed and she was in another down the hall.  All of these glimpses showed the perfect sacrificial,  unconditional and incarnate kind of love that Jesus has for us.  But, the ultimate expression of love that Harris showed came on Easter Sunday afternoon.  It was then that Harris released Mary into the nail-pierced hands of her risen Savior, Jesus.  Rather than reacting with anger or hopeless despair, Harris took comfort that Mary was experiencing her most glorious Easter ever.  He loved her so much that he was willing to let her go to a place where she would have no more pain … even though he would be left without her.

This is how I saw Jesus.  His uncommon and truly sacrificial love.  Love that’s willing to go through the pain of loss so that his beloved can be free from suffering forever.  That’s what I saw in Harris.  That’s when I saw Jesus.

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