Saturday, July 30, 2016


Is the title of today's inspirational message.

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in
Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-
changing experiences that you hear other
people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on
you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere
two feet away from me.
Straining to locate my friend among the
passengers deplaning through the jet way, I
noticed a man coming toward me carrying two
light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet
his family.
First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe
six years old) as he laid down his bags. They
gave each other a long, loving hug. As they
separated enough to look in each other’s face, I
heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you,
son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled
somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied
softly, “Me, too, Dad!”
Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his
oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while
cupping his son’s face in his hands said,
“You’re already quite the young man. I love you
very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most
loving, tender hug.
While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps
one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly
in her mother’s arms, never once taking her
little eyes off the wonderful sight of her
returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!”
as he gently took the child from her mother. He
quickly kissed her face all over and then held
her close to his chest while rocking her from
side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and
simply laid her head on his shoulder,
motionless in pure contentment.
After several moments, he handed his daughter
to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the
best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife
the longest, most passionate kiss I ever
remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for
several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I
love you so much!” They stared at each other’s
eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while
holding both hands.
For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds,
but I knew by the age of their kids that they
couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a
moment then realized how totally engrossed I
was in the wonderful display of unconditional
love not more than an arm’s length away from
me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was
invading something sacred, but was amazed to
hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How
long have you two been married?
“Been together fourteen years total, married
twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking
his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then,
how long have you been away?” I asked. The
man finally turned and looked at me, still
beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”
Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of
the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for
at least several weeks – if not months. I know
my expression betrayed me.
I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my
intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to
get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my
marriage is still that passionate after twelve
The man suddenly stopped smiling.
He looked me straight in the eye, and with
forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he
told me something that left me a different
person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend…
decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful
smile again, shook my hand and said, “God
Indeed don't hope, decide.

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