Even though his eye was red and his breathing was wheezy from allergic reaction to the puppies, he still picked up the little pooch and gently nuzzled it…not because he loves animals the way I do…but because he loves me so deeply. I’ve gotta tell you, there is nothing sexier that when a strong man voluntarily softens himself to be gentle with animals or children or anyone weaker than himself. Stan does this with regularity and it still makes my heart beat a little faster every single time! Oh my! Tempered strength is so attractive!!!!
I remember how the guy kept going on and on and on about what a “pro” he was in softball. You know the type, bulldog mouth but a candy…uh…tail. He was bragging and bragging and then couldn’t actually perform as described. Then, Stan quietly took his turn at bat. The outfield moved in on him because he’s not that big of a guy…and without all of the noise of the guy before him, he burned them all…hit it to the fence and left them all gaping at him. He swiftly ran all the bases and then trotted into the dugout without all of the hoopla of the guy before him. We weren’t married yet then and I was still getting to know Stan but…that made such an impression on me…his quiet confidence was so attractive! I remember him telling me later that if you are really that great, you won’t have to do your own bragging because other people will do it for you. Oh my! Quiet self-confidence is so attractive!!!!
I remember Stan building a patio in the back yard…it took several days of work and he had lots of heavy lifting to do. The kids wanted to help him…and…well, as it always is when kids help…it slows down the process. But Stan saw the big picture and wanted to cultivate an attitude and culture of service in Team Massey. So, he allowed himself to slow down and elongated the already-long process in order to let the children help him create the patio. With the patience of Job, he created a beautiful and sturdy patio for us to enjoy for years to come as well as creating a sense of ownership and service in our children. They shared quality time together as they worked shoulder-to-shoulder. Wow! Wisdom, patience, and foresight are so attractive!
The point of this musing is two-fold: The first point is that it is possible to actually be the kind of person that inspires others to be better. This isn’t accomplished through “demanding what you deserve” or thinking only of yourself…it is achieved through selfless sacrifice, love for others, and being slow to speak but quick to act honorably. The second point is that it is good to be an observer of the people you love. It is good to try to “catch them doing something right.” With Stan not seeking attention in these circumstances, it would have been easy for me to over-look them and not show him appreciation. It would have been easy for me to focus on the times when he was short-tempered with the kids or when he didn’t thank me for whatever tasks I was doing at the time. But, our relationship was strengthened and Stan felt more known and seen because I took the time to study him and see the motivations behind his actions.
So, how are you doing with this? Can you honorably and selflessly serve the people you love without looking for appreciation for your service? Can you quiet yourself when you really want to brag? Can you let your actions speak volumes more than your voice ever could? What about observing your loved-ones? Are you their greatest observer? Do they feel known and appreciated? Do they feel like you are looking for the best in them instead of only trying to catch them at their worst? How could you improve your relationships in this area?
Praying for love, wisdom, and peace for you all. Much love friends.