Well, today I figured out why. My husband had several personalities. There was the “Everyday Husband“, the “Romantic Husband“, the “Grandpa Husband“, the “Father Husband“, the “Special Occasion Husband“, and the “Church Husband“.
I liked my Church Husband the best. He and I had the most wonderful times. He always dressed nicely for church and took care to only wear a little bit of after shave because he knew it gave me a headache. Church Husband, let’s call him CH, was always in a good mood. He loved Jesus, loved going to church, and loved donuts, mostly in that order. Knowing that we would follow the service with friends for coffee and pastries — well that was the topping on an already perfect Sunday, if you were to ask CH.
CH was one of the most romantic men I knew. Oh sure, “Romantic Husband” knew how to celebrate an anniversary and never forgot Valentine’s Day, but CH really knew what mattered. He would hold my hand during the sermon and sometimes, he would squeeze it, acknowledging something that the pastor had said. When the pastor invited the congregation to “share the peace”, CH would always turn to me first and give me a kiss and a hug. It was during those times in church that I felt the closest to my husband and to the real man I married. I felt safe and loved and happy.
CH lived out his Christian faith well. The son of a Lutheran pastor, his eyes would fill with tears as he sung the words of an old hymn and later, on the way home, he would tell me stories of his mom and dad and his growing-up years in his father’s church.
CH was a good dad. While “Father Husband” could be a bit crusty and was known for lecturing the kids ’til they could barely take it any more, CH would always name each one of them in prayer. Many times we would go to the altar rail and say a special prayer for one or another of our daughters or grandchildren and his eyes would always be moist as we returned to our pew.
CH was a wonderful grandfather. Now “Grandfather Husband” was OK, but could be a bit grouchy at times and perhaps spent a little too much time telling the kids how it was “in his day”. But CH would pray with all the love one could hold, for each of his grandchildren. Many times, he would make notes in the margins of his bulletin so that he could remember to tell them about a meaningful scripture or lesson learned in the morning’s sermon.
CH was very funny. Not that “Everyday Husband” couldn’t tell a joke. He could. But CH loved to tell funny stories — particularly to the pastor as we would say our goodbyes at the church door. He didn’t mind that he was holding up a whole line of people behind him as he would take the pastor’s hand to shake it and then say something a bit off color which would make the pastor laugh — and then CH would laugh at his own joke, even louder.
And so it is that once again I could not sing the hymns, but figured out why. God bless you, CH. I bet the donuts are awesome in Heaven!