I Will Love You Forever
I am sure there are those who get goosebumps just by reading this title. Koreans, especially first-generation Koreans, tend to have difficulty expressing the depth of their emotions very well. No matter how long we live in the United States, it is something that rarely seems to change. It reminds me of this verse: “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed”(Pro 27:5). In other words, love that is not expressed is not true love. Perhaps the same can be said of gratitude and remorse.
I am an ordinary man, no different from the healthy sons of Korea, a man who once pursued masculine beauty and advocated for traditional male authoritarianism. However, through God’s living Word and the many hardships I have faced throughout my life, I believe I have been changed a great deal. I feel I am becoming more mature now! Christianity is a way of faith full of vitality that must be expressed in some kind of form. If we experience grace and live by His Word, we will definitely continue to grow and change.
To be honest, I don’t express all of my feelings either, but I have begun to confess to my wife in my heart, “I will love you forever.” We will be celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary this March. A newly married couple in their 20s has already become an old couple in their 70s. I have lived a challenging life caring for my severely disabled wife over the last 34 years of our marriage. I must confess that I was only able to come this far by God’s grace, and that I cannot live without His grace in the future.
I am relatively robust, so I did not have much trouble tending to my wife until just a year or two ago, but my body has been suffering from a “back disc” so I now understand the difficulty of what I once completed with relative ease. Sometimes, I am so exhausted that I simply try with all my strength to endure it all and labor on with the thought that today is the last day. And surprisingly, I live a new day with gratitude to God who gives me new strength to accomplish the tasks He has set out for me through His grace.
Yet, seeing my wife, who is unable to physically do anything on her own, I feel a mixture of love and grief. Like a mother’s heart for her helpless child… In the face of my wife, who lies in bed for about 16 hours a day, I sometimes see our two daughters who reside in heaven, and even angels. As I suffer from pain, I groan and scowl without realizing it. But my wife, who has been living for 34 years with constant indescribable pain, seems to belong to heaven.
I stretch out my wife’s paralyzed limbs three times a day, but every time I do her right arm, it fractures my heart. She wore a cast for while after breaking her arm in the accident, and after its eventual removal, her elbow still would not bend all the way. One day, while helping her stretch, I pushed too hard and accidentally broke my wife’s elbow bone. How horrified and heartbroken I was! She had to have a metal implant inserted in her elbow, so movement in that arm is still limited and the pain is even worse. Because of that, I feel sorrow for my wife and have promised to love her until the end.
There is something that I have learned much about; because of our sins, no, because of my sins, I can feel the pain Christ suffered when the nails pierced His hands and feet, His side was stabbed by the spear. Because of that, I declare that I will love our Lord even more. “I love You Lord forever who have suffered for me!” Hallelujah!