Standing at the front of the front of the congregation, singing in the choir on Sunday, I saw something so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. In the back of the chapel, I saw a Sister sitting with a Handsome Young Man, who had his arm around her as they listened to Christmas Carols.
Now, this sister, to paraphrase the Bible "hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see (her), there is no beauty that we should desire (her)". Certainly Abercrombie & Fitch and The Gap aren't pounding down her door with modeling contracts. Physically she is small, and has obviously had a hard life--physically and emotionally. She has been a widow for 25 years, and struggled as a single mother to raise her two children. She succeeded--amazingly well. They are now strong, intelligent, caring adults who benefit their communities and the world. But, she is home alone.
She is never at the front, in the spotlight or looking for attention. While others perform at the Ward Talent Show--she is in the kitchen, making sure the desserts are sliced, that every casserole has a serving spoon and that all the dishes get washed up and put away afterwards. She is easy to miss, if you aren't looking for her.
So, when I saw her in the loving embrace of a good man, 30 years younger than she is--my heart melted. Because he is the fiance of her daughter, who was singing in the choir. And he loves her. Because he recognizes that most of the wonderful traits in the fabulous woman that he will marry in two months, were given, taught and trained by this quiet, humble lady, and he loves her for those gifts.
Our society, which adores the loud and self promoting, overlooks men who are quiet. My dad is a quiet man. He hates confrontation, he hates raised voices. A lot of people who saw my parents together assumed that my mom "wore the pants" in the family, because she was much louder and outgoing than my dad. They were wrong. In a quiet, loving way, he led us by example.
I hear women talk about how "all men are jerks" or "all the good men have been taken". Well, girls there are several reasons for that: The good men are busy doing good things--quietly. They aren't tooting their own horns and talking about how great they are. They just roll up their sleeves and get the job done. AND if you are looking for a good man--don't look at the singles bar--because the guys who are there are not the ones you want. Also, men live up to what we tell them. Once, my wise mother told me that small children obey everything you tell them--so if you tell them they are brats, or little terrors, or "Just like your lazy father"...they will be. Men, too live up to the messages they hear from us.
There are LOTS of good men out there. I am privileged to know some of them. And I want to tell them thanks. Thanks for quietly being "real men"--who take care of their responsibilities, their families, their friends, and our world. Who stand up for what is good and important in our culture, and--if it was required, would lay down their lives for it.
I have no words to express how grateful I am.