Best Kind of Love, The

Best Kind of Love, The
  by: Annette Paxman Bowen  (excerpt article)

I have a friend who is falling in love. She honestly claims the sky is bluer. Mozart moves her to tears. She has lost 15 pounds and looks like a cover girl.

“I’m young again!” she shouts exuberantly.

As my friend raves on about her new love, I’ve taken a good look at my old one. My husband of almost 20 years, Scott, has gained 15 pounds. Once a marathon runner, he now runs only down hospital halls. His hairline is receding and his body shows the signs of long working hours and too many candy bars. Yet he can still give me a certain look across a restaurant table and I want to ask for the check and head home.

When my friend asked me “What will make this love last?” I ran through all the obvious reasons: commitment, shared interests, unselfishness, physical attraction, communication. Yet there’s more. We still have fun. Spontaneous good times. Yesterday, after slipping the rubber band off the rolled up newspaper, Scott flipped it playfully at me: this led to an all-out war. Last Saturday at the grocery, we split the list and raced each other to see who could make it to the checkout first. Even washing dishes can be a blast. We enjoy simply being together.

And there are surprises. One time I came home to find a note on the front door that led me to another note, then another, until I reached the walk-in closet. I opened the door to find Scott holding a “pot of gold ” (my cooking kettle) and the “treasure” of a gift package. Sometimes I leave him notes on the mirror and little presents under his pillow.

There is understanding. I understand why he must play basketball with the guys. And he understands why, once a year, I must get away from the house, the kids – and even him-to meet my sisters for a few days of nonstop talking and laughing.

There is sharing. Not only do we share household worries and parental burdens – we also share ideas. Scott came home from a convention last month and presented me with a thick historical novel. Though he prefers thrillers and science fiction, he had read the novel on the plane. He touched my heart when he explained it was because he wanted to be able to exchange ideas about the book after I’d read it.

There is forgiveness. When I’m embarrassingly loud and crazy at parties, Scott forgives me. When he confessed losing some of our savings in the stock market, I gave him a hug and said, “It’s okay. It’s only money.”

There is sensitivity. Last week he walked through the door with that look that tells me it’s been a tough day. After he spent some time with the kids, I asked him what happened. He told me about a 60-year-old woman who’d had a stroke. He wept as he recalled the woman’s husband standing beside her bed, caressing her hand. How was he going to tell this husband of 40 years that his wife would probably never recover? I shed a few tears myself. Because of the medical crisis. Because there were still people who have been married 40 years. Because my husband is still moved and concerned after years of hospital rooms and dying patients.

There is faith. Last Tuesday a friend came over and confessed her fear that her husband is losing his courageous battle with cancer. On Wednesday I went to lunch with a friend who is struggling to reshape her life after divorce. On Thursday a neighbor called to talk about the frightening effects of Alzheimer’s disease on her father-in-law’s personality. On Friday a childhood friend called long-distance to tell me her father had died. I hung up the phone and thought, This is too much heartache for one week. Through my tears, as I went out to run some errands, I noticed the boisterous orange blossoms of the gladiolus outside my window. I heard the delighted laughter of my son and his friend as they played. I caught sight of a wedding party emerging from a neighbor’s house. The bride, dressed in satin and lace, tossed her bouquet to her cheering friends. That night, I told my husband about these events. We helped each other acknowledge the cycles of life and that the joys counter the sorrows. It was enough to keep us going.

Finally, there is knowing. I know Scott will throw his laundry just shy of the hamper every night; he’ll be late to most appointments and eat the last chocolate in the box. He knows that I sleep with a pillow over my head; I’ll lock us out of the house at a regular basis, and I will also eat the last chocolate.

I guess our love lasts because it is comfortable. No, the sky is not bluer: it’s just a familiar hue. We don’t feel particularly young: we’ve experienced too much that has contributed to our growth and wisdom, taking its toll on our bodies, and created our memories.

I hope we’ve got what it takes to make our love last. As a bride, I had Scott’s wedding band engraved with Robert Browning’s line “Grow old along with me!” We’re following those instructions.

“If anything is real, the heart will make it plain.”

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The Best Kind of Love

I thought I already knew the meaning of love until I was told of this unique, yet unparalled love story.   

The year was 1992 in the town of Cavite, Philppines. The place is near the sea, so you can immagine that most of the jobs there are either fishing or factory work.  

One ordinary day, a certain factory worker got illed and could no longer report for work due to his health condition.  He was already bed ridden.  Let me call him Freddie (not the real name).  He can be compared to a paralitic as he could no longer stand.  His illness was hernia.  But due to lack of finances and medical attention, it got worse due to complications. He just lies on his bed day by day.  Worst, his wife and family abandoned him as they could not bear his condition.  Previouly, people around him care to serve him but began to vanish one by one as times go by.  He was left alone in a garage like dog.  But at least, someone bring him food on a daily basis.  I was told that I won’t believe how pittyful his condition was.  On the same bed he lays is his waste and urine flow and it accumulated already.  His clothes and undergarments were unreplaced in months.  Surely, you can’t breath normally if you where there, as told.  His condition was too bad and his condition was worst than a shackeled animal. 

In that same period of time, my brother visits the location for a Christian mission work on a weekly basis.  Freddie’s condition caught the attention of a certain young man in the factory (my apology, I can no longer recall the name of that young man but he attends where my brother serve as his two friends).  The two were more known as Marcing and Boy.  Marcing was the one who told me the story.  

The three did not waste time; they immediately went to Freddie’s place to at least share Jesus.  Actually, they were neither Pastors nor a church worker.  They were only ordinary attendees then who were burdened of their duty to share Jesus to less fortunate.  Upon entering the area where Freddie is, all of them almost vomit but they controlled their stomach in respect to Freddie’s condition.  As described, it was the most gruesome scenario they’ve been through as told.  Undescribeable, as they said.   Before they could start to speak, Freddie uttered curses and the worst bad mouth anyone can say.  He was too angry with his family, himself, to the world and to God.  But later, he let them share the Bible.  Nonetheless, no expression of acceptance whatsoever was seen.  Afterwards, they left and each went on to their different homes.  No one speak a word till they separated, as per Marcing’s recollection.  But the next day, they meet again.  Each tells the same heavy burden within their heart that they could not bear.  They all agreed that preaching was not enough.  Later they just decided to go back.  

Freddie was surprised to saw the three young men returned with cleaning tools and alcohol.  The three ask his permission to clean him and his place without strings attached.  Upon his ok for approcal, one sweep the floor with broom and map.  Another fixed the things and cleaned the dust.  Marcing decided to fix Freddie and his bed.  Marcing said that Freddie’s garments were too dirty and his body emits undescribable bad odor.  He undressed Freddie for a while to clean him from head to toes.  Marcing could not believe what he saw.  Freddie was too thin as if he is already a skeleton.  Nonetheless, he controlled himself for Freddie.  Marcing also said that Freddie’s whole body was so dirty; he saw the dried human waste under Freddie’s but flowing to his legs with traces of urine.   Marcing himself could not believe what he did.  Nonetheless, he humbly admits that they are doing it for God.   Later he changed Freddie’s clothes and combs his hair.  Freddie began to smile as they uttered jokes how handsome Freddie that day.  Later they temporarily moved Freddie on a chair to clean and fix his bed.  Each of them continued doing what should be done.  One replaced the curtain.  The other burned the garbage.  Marcing washed the dirty plates, glass and utensils.  He even called Freddie’s attention while cleaning the stained drinking glass.  Freddy uttered, “No, I don’t drink through it but urinate.”   To his shock, Marcing said that he almost drop the glass.  He thanks God that he did not.  Marcing humbly admitted that they could not do it without God, as no one can. 

Before they left, tears began to drop on Fredie’s eyes.  Marcing calls it, “tears of joy!”    No more curses and bad mouth words were heard since they returned.  Freddie thanks them and told them that they have done something no religious visitor or any of his family members have done.  Because of their action, Freddie accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior although no sermon or preaching has been spoken.  No religion was discussed either.  As I said earlier, the three young men were only rdinary young people and they were just on their early 20s then.  

Minutes passed and they said good bye.  Upon leaving the area, it was only then they noticed that there were people watching them all they long.   Marcing said that although they differ in status and religion, you will see in the eyes of the people their respect and amazement.  

Three days later, their companion Boy had a dream that Freddie died already.  It was confirmed so they visited.  Marcing remembers that they saw the people who are there especially the wife and family members could not stare at them in shame.  They could not believe they were that known and respected.  Although no clapping was done, the warm appreciations in the eyes people were obvious.  And though no preaching was made, the people believed because “kind action” and “sacrificial demonstration” speaks louder than any religious teaching.  Truly, in many cases God is glorified and is made known because someone demonstrates his faith in sincere action, personal testimony and simple act of kindness.  This I believed is the best kind of love. 

Note:  Marcing is now Pastor Marcing Prim. His wife’s name is Carmen they have one son.   They moved to another area but still within Cavite Philippines.  Ptr. Marcing is currently pastoring a Church to where he and his family settled (his church is affiliated to In Christ We Live Family Christian Center), where most of the attendees were poor fisher folks and farmers.  If anyone wishes to contact him, you may request of his contact details to my e-mail: denissalvatierra@yahoo.com 

Cavite Philippines is the same province where the 2009 CNN hero Efren Penaflorida also settled  and serve (same with recent Nobel Peace Prize finalist who educate poor Filipinos about their rights).

The Age of Privacy is Over

The 23 year old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a live that if he were to create Facebook again, user information would by default be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December.  Hear him directly in a six-minute interview on stage with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.   Mark spent 60 seconds talking about Facebook’s privacy policies. His statements were of major importance for the world’s largest social network – and his arguments in favor of an about-face on privacy deserve close scrutiny… 

Below is an inside look at Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg…

Earthquake Northern California

Off the shore of Northern California has been hit by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake. Although no major casualties were reported, probably about 28,000 customers were left without power Saturday evening, most of them in Humboldt County,  said Jeff Smith, spokesman for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.  But presumably around a dozen aftershocks followed, the strongest at 4.5 magnitude.

The quake, which ran about 13.5 miles deep, hit offshore at 4:27 p.m. (7:27 p.m. ET) Saturday, about 33 miles from the coastal city of Eureka, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Marvin Sapp Gospel singer to watch

Marvin Sapp was the Gospel singer who sang the song “He saw the Best in Me” at Celebration of Gospel 2010.   His performance caught the attention of many, especially in the internet.

Marvin Sapp is also the Founder and Senior pastor of the Lighthouse Full Life Center Church, which is also in his birth town Grand Rapids.

Pastor Marvin is married to MaLinda Sapp, a professor and psychologist, and who serves as the Administrative Pastor at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church.   They have three beautiful children: Marvin II, Mikaila, and Madisson.

Solo albums

  • 1995: Marvin Sapp
  • 1997: Grace and Mercy
  • 1999: Nothing Else Matters
  • 2001: I Believe
  • 2003: Diary of a Psalmist
  • 2005: Be Exalted
  • 2007: Thirsty
  • 2010: Here I Am