I reach deep into the foul smelling trash can and pull out a piece of rotting tomato. With two boys in diapers, the aroma emanating from the bin is overpowering. It’s 9:45 p.m. on a warm summer night and there are a thousand things I’d rather be doing. Somewhere in this trash bin, however, may be the missing slip of paper needed to pick up Alexander’s new passport, so I have little choice but to continue to dig. Besides me, Jason, with three broken vertebrae in his back and in real need of a rest, faithfully holds open a trash bag; his willing presence a much needed encouragement.
Growing up, my brothers often teased me about my naive dreams of romance, love and marriage. I imagined my prince charming holding my hand, taking me on romantic walks and showering me with gifts of chocolates and roses. And of course we’d have a fairy tale wedding and live happily ever after.
Reality wasn't quite like I imagined, however, especially not tonight. I slap at a mosquito as the sun disappears and darkness creeps in. One by one I gingerly pull out dirty diapers, cracked egg shells and rotting refuse and transfer them over to the trash bag my husband is holding. Still no envelope with the missing slip of paper. The deeper I dig, the nastier it gets. Maggots, their squirming bodies wriggling to and fro, devour the garbage. I look at Jason and we both grimace. Disgusting.
We really need that paper however, and I have a niggling feeling that I threw the envelope in the trash, not knowing what it was. Since we’ve already searched the house from top to bottom this is really the only place left it can be.
Finally, right at the bottom, I see it. I grasp the envelope and lift it up for Jason to see with a shout of victory. We both smile.
I think I love him more at this moment than ever before. Anyone can spend a few dollars on chocolates and roses, and enjoy romance and love when the going is easy, but it takes a real prince to be there when life isn't so rosy. To stand there, with a broken back, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, while his grubby princess digs through the trash, just to show he cares.
1 Cor 13:7 Love: endureth all things.