Monday, June 14, 2010

A Gift

A confident hand, large for a boy just become man, proffered in the dry heat of a Los Angeles July on Figueroa Street. A chance meeting mapped to the moment by Providence.

"Hi, I'm Brian Hudson. I'm from Idaho."

I notice the hiking boots with Navy Surplus socks pulled up and backpack strapped across the chest, the small iron cross hanging from a leather cord around his neck. I notice farmer-tanned arms, strong with building houses down in Mexico for a summer. Fingers blistered playing guitar in the streets of Rosarito, worship hymns around the campfire. Blue eyes alight with ambition and kindness. I knew then that he was something rare, a Gentle Man.

On brains and guts, he'd come here on a bus and scholarship and on prayer. This homegrown boy from Idaho, this gentle man blooming with confidence and anticipation who was raised on his Daddy's work ethic and his Mama's grit and on the faith he took for his own at seven years old and wrapped himself in like skin and filled himself with like air.

Some might say he came on dreams, too, but I know better. He never was a dreamer. He was too cautious for that, and in a way, too strong. His brain was always wired to override his heart. Or maybe it was due to a combination of ethic and grit and an iron will that I was powerless not to admire. And, yet here he was living out his dream. Because his head had wrestled long with what was in his heart, and they came out in agreement, and his hands worked hard and his mind was sharp and the grit his Mama gave him from birth married to his Daddy's nose-to-the-grindstone, self-made determination. And because he was being Led by stronger Hands than his.

I put my hand in his that day, and I shook it, and one month later, we were dancing, giddy grown-up children learning love and life side-by-side. The long and short of three years saw those same hands challenge and conquer and mold and make, and then they offered me a promise, diamond-strong and white-gold-pure. I offered it right back in covenant. Though we were young, I had no misgivings, because this gentle man was no dreamer, and his heart cried out to mine, but his head gave the final say, and he took my hands in his and wed me.

In barely a breath, those hands led me North and danced me into motherhood, and I have seen them challenge and conquer and mold and make. And we're dancing still, if we have grown a bit.

This past week, he gave me a gift. Some people might laugh to hear a new sink called  a gift, and the act of installing it with two hands, a box of tools, and the aid of YouTube videos may seem insignificant to some. But, to me it is testimony.

Of a Grandpa's work ethic
and a Grandma's grit

Of a farmer boy's hands
and a brilliant mind
and an iron will

and a love strong and pure
and a covenant

blessed by Hands
even stronger and gentler than his.


  1. That was beautiful, Bethany. You are a lucky, lucky woman. God bless you both (and the little ones)...

  2. Absolutely a gift.

  3. What a touching tribute to your husband, and what a lovely gift. :) Your new sink looks beautiful!


  4. I think it's a great gift to you! As your essay on it is a great gift to him.

    You mentioned a couple times here about your husband being a gentle man...I'm glad you make that point, because some confused young women (I was one of them once) need to hear the value of a strong yet gentle man.

    My husband, whom I met in my late thirties, was not someone I would have noticed in my twenties. I was always focused on the louder, showier, more "charismatic" type of men. I don't mean showy with clothes, but showy with personality. Sometimes, a gentle man can be overlooked, because he doesn't preen or brag or absorb attention. When I first met my husband, he was content to do the simple, unglamorous things like driving the church van on trips, helping people move, etc. He was not singing in the church band or giving talks at conferences, he was doing the quiet jobs in the background; the soft-spoken, steady guy in the group. Had I been younger, I would have thought he was too boring or sedate, but some hard life lessons taught me that charisma does not equal character.

    Oh it's just so hard to explain, I read my comment over and realize how hard it is to put into words. But you did it in your post about your own husband and I hope younger, single women might be reading it and reflecting on it.

  5. P.S. Also, I think some men speak the love language of household repairs! (Only being slightly facetious here.) It's like a love offering to us. One time when my husband and I were still dating, I was upset about something he did (which I can't remember now). While he listened to me vent about it, he quietly, efficiently replaced my apartment's dimmer switch, which had never worked right. I didn't ask him to do it, he just did it while listening to me, and thank God some little part of me rose above my self-created drama and realized that was his way of apologizing to me. (P.S. I'm not implying that your husband replaced your sink because you were upset about anything, just using the dimmer switch thing as an example.)

  6. Oh Bethany! This is so sweet ... and touching. You're a very gifted young woman. I hope you had a great birthday.

  7. Very sweet. Thanks for sharing, as I needed the wake-up call to remind me of the "gifts" my dear husband bestows on me regularly! I have been taking his work for granted. Forgive me, Lord.

  8. Just beautiful! I love the included photos! :)

  9. Adorable. I remember those boots! Oh my those boots! We made sooo much fun of them (with love)
    - Happy (late) Birthday Beth!

  10. What a beautiful gift! My husband's love is often shown in much the same way - such as the recessed lighting he installed in our kitchen for our anniversary one year. Your way with words is also a gift; thanks for sharing!

  11. i love your way of putting words together.

  12. What a lovely story I was drawn to it the moment I read "proffered in the dry heat of a Los Angeles July on Figueroa Street". I too met my husband on Figueroa Street - of course we worked together and it was October when we met. But after almost 19 years of marriage I'd say it's a great street to meet your soul-mate on.

    And a new sink truly is a beautiful gift.

  13. Beautiful post Bethany! so inspiring, i really loved the way you said everything, he certainly is a gift for you from Him. Our Father is wonderful and loving, is a blessing that you can recognize His giving.

    Love to you and your precious family

    In Christ
    A Colombian sister ;)

  14. That was so beautiful. I'm going to read that one to my boys.

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  16. Oh What a lovely, lovely post about your sweet, strong husband and his heritage! It brought tears to my eyes! I am so happy for you that you found a man like that! (And I don't even know you! I found your blog by "accident"!)They are so very rare, these days. I know this because I too have one of those rare men, who makes me proud to say I am his! Isn't God wonderful to help us find them?!

  17. Well done, with love. The best kind.

  18. Nice, my husband once told me he needed to send my some flowers, I asked for a window or two instead. Didn't get the flowers or window! :) Oh well.(PS he chooses the masculine type flowers ginger, protea, etc which I find ugly, and we really do need window that open in our little house. On this note, Does anyone know of a program to train boys in manly homeskills I surely can't.


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