Last night I was free of work. Brilliant. I worked very hard while at the school so that I wouldn't have to bring work home. The only question left to me when I got home was what to do with all of that free time. The whole world seemed open to me. After all, I had the whole night to do whatever my heart desired. So, what did I do with all of that time, you ask? I watched American Idol. Would I normally watch American Idol? No, but Hazel would.
Let me tell you about Hazel and myself. I watch films and read books that make me think about life, the universe, and everything. Hazel watches movies and reads books that make her warm and feel happy. I listen to music that has the immediate effect of turning away new listeners. Hazel listens to Justin Bieber and the soundtracks to Glee (I tried. I swear I did, but I still don't get Glee). What must this relationship be like between two people with such divergent interests, you may again ask yourself. Let me tell you. It could not be more perfect.
My dear sister (we'll call this one George) commented recently that hearts are naturally cold and that ears are naturally deaf. This is true, but it is not how they were meant to be. Our hearts were created to be warm and our ears were given to us to hear God's calling to us in the Garden to come and walk with Him. I believe our whole lives are spent, successfully or unsuccessfully, in an attempt to warm our hearts and awaken our deaf ears. It reminds me of the house that Hazel and I lived in during our first two years of marriage. This house (almost more of a cottage) was in what could perhaps be the most picturesque setting imaginable for a newly wed couple with one person still in college. It was awesome. It was hemmed in by woods, hills, and two tiny creeks toward the back, side, and front of the house. During the summer time it was the sort of cozy place that would put you to sleep instantly when you came home from work because it was so relaxing. During the winter however, it was cold. All of the elements that made the house so beautiful during the spring and summer combined (with a lack of insulation) to make this house the coldest house on earth. We would walk in during the day and see our breath in the air in front of our faces. Scientists will tell you that heat rises, but I can tell you that it seemed as if the cold rose constantly through the floor boards. And all that Hazel and I had was a tiny space heater. We longed, and I mean longed for warmth to the point that (and certain readers may remember this) we would sit directly in front of the space heater (which kind of burns, in case you didn't know) just to get warm.
Life is cold, the world is painful, and it all just serves to make us more keenly aware of our desire for warmth that can only come from Christ who has been made a perfect intercessor because he is a priest forever. When seen through that lens, even pain (and it seems like the Strange family has had plenty of it over the last year) becomes another brilliant reminder of the love of Christ. Seriously, and I wish that I had thought of this years ago, what sharper reminder of our need for Christ than the pain of absence. Even death, which is a curse, becomes instead for us a blessing because it introduces us to a new life hereafter and reminds us of our life here now.
What does this all have to do with Hazel? She is a space heater. Where I am cold, Hazel is warm. Hazel brings light and goodness to the world. I see Christ daily, because I see Hazel. She feels Christ's love where I often have a head knowledge of it. Hazel is the heart of our home. She makes me praise God everyday even when I want to curse the world. So let me tell you about Hazel. She is incredible.