I don’t mean that sarcastically. It’s just that they have been pastor couples or teacher couples or missionary couples for five decades.
I was ready to write about one of the guys, a teacher. And I was going to write about my dad. I was going to talk about their diligence, their commitment to excellence, their work that makes me want to throw my hands up and stop even trying.
And then the session ended. I wandered around the room. I found myself over by the teacher, behind him, behind some people talking with him. I waited. Several people talked with him. And then I thought, “I don’t need to wait” and so I turned around. And saw his wife, three rows back, sitting alone.
I greeted her.
She said, “I thought they were behind me and I turned and they weren’t, so I sat down to wait.”
I said, “It’s not the first time, is it.”
We chatted a bit, this other half of a fifty year professional ministry team. He knows the Bible in three languages. She knows him. And four children. I don’t remember how many grandchildren. And she knows countless hours waiting in public spaces while someone thanks him or asks him or questions him.
My mother knows the feeling well. So does my wife. They both have waited patiently, encouragingly. They both have given their husbands wisdom and blessing and space.
I understood much better as I walked out of the room, out into the evening, back to an empty hotel room.
There is a price paid, usually willingly, by the one not in the spotlight.And I should write about their diligence, their commitment to excellence, their work that keeps me from ever thinking about throwing up my hands and stopping trying.
I’m glad I decided to turn around.