Summary: This is the funeral message for a military wife and includes a poem about God's special creation of such a woman for her husband.
Reading of Scripture
OPEN: Albert Einstein’s wife was asked if she understood her husband's theory of relativity. "No," she said, "but I know how he likes his tea." What Mrs. Einstein realized was that her husband didn’t want someone who understood what he KNEW. What he wanted was someone who loved him and who would take care of his needs.
With Kay – Jim had both. He had a wife who understood what he knew (she understood his position & responsibilities in the military) but even more than that she loved him she took care of his needs. She worked to make him a success. AND… they worked as a team. From the day Jim thought about being an officer in the Air Force he consulted her and got her advice on what he should do.
As he rose through the ranks, she gave selflessly of her life for him. As they moved from Air Base to Air Base and often she’d have to be at home alone while he did his job. But where she really shined was in being a hostess because that was expected of the wife of a man in Jim’s position. She knew the etiquette of formal dining settings. She knew how to be gracious and how to make senior officers/politicians/dignitaries and their staff feel at ease and welcome. She even once hosted a dinner for King Hussein. She had to be ready to host these gatherings… at a moment’s notice. And she performed her part flawlessly and without complaint. And she did all that… because of how much she loved her husband.
ILLUS: A woman from Georgia who’d been married for 60 years was once asked Kay what made her marriage so strong. She paused, and then said “Don't be afraid to be the one who loves the most.” That was the blessing Jim had in his marriage. More than any other quality KAY had her DEEP love for him was what made her HIS best friend and companion.
(God’s creation of a military wife, read at husband’s request): The Good Lord was creating a model for military wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. He said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What’s wrong with the standard model?” “Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, possess the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to 4 or 40 with an hour’s notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, even if she is pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move to a new location 10 times in 17 years. And oh yes, she must have six pairs of hands." The angel shook his head, "Six pair of hands? No way!" The Lord continued, "Don’t worry, we will make other military wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband’s achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it is overworked and tired, and be large enough to say "I understand" when she doesn’t and say, ‘I love you’ regardless". "Lord," said the angel, touching his arm gently "Go to bed and get some rest. You can finish this tomorrow". "I can’t stop now", said the Lord "I am so close to creating something unique. Already this model heals herself when she is sick, can put up six unexpected guests for the weekend, wave goodbye to her husband from a depot, pier or runway and understand why it’s important that he leave." The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, "It looks fine, but it’s too soft". "She might look soft", replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure." Finally, the angel bent over and ran his finger across the cheek of the Lord’s creation. "There’s a leak", he announced. "Something is wrong with the construction. You are trying to put too much into this model." The Lord appeared offended at the angel’s lack of confidence. "What you see is not a leak", he said, "It’s a tear." "A tear? What is it there for?", asked the angel. The Lord replied, "It’s for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear." "You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn’t put it there"
Kay modeled what we read about earlier in I Corinthians 13: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.” That’s a powerful passage of Scripture. And it’s powerful because it gives us/God’s ideal of what love looks like.