Friday, May 7, 2010

"Even Her"

In Same Kind of Different as Me, Ron Hall relates his wife Deborah’s horrific struggle against colon cancer of the liver. Both Ron and Deborah were people of faith (Ron still is).

Shortly before she passed away in November of 2000, Deborah called Ron and her two adult children into their bedroom and told them, “Your father has been a wonderful husband and father, and I want you to know that I am releasing him to find someone, date, and even marry.” Ron protested, but Deborah continued talking to the kids. “I know it’s going to be hard for you, but I’m asking you to honor his decisions and let him be happy again.”

As I read this to Sara a couple days ago, we commented to one another about what a gift that was from this dying woman to her husband and to her kids. Neither group wanted to hear that at the time, but one day it could be quite a gift, knowing that wife/mom had given her approval to husband/dad remarrying after her death.

But there’s more. After the kids had left the room, Deborah whispered in her husband’s ear, “Even her.”

Ron writes that he knew exactly who she meant. Eleven years prior he had had a brief fling with another woman. At the time Ron confessed to Deborah what had happened. After going into a rage at the time and then meeting with their pastor, Deborah called the woman, identified herself, and then told her that she didn’t blame her for the affair; she blamed herself for not being the kind of wife Ron needed, but that was going to change (68-69). From that point on the Halls began to work on their marriage.

Now, eleven years later, Deborah gave Ron permission to marry that woman after she was gone. Ron vehemently protested, but Deborah said—and I find this amazing—“It [the affair] was a good thing, a thing that turned out good for us. Look at the last eleven years … if she hadn’t happened, our life together would never have been as wonderful as it has been. And now you have my permission to go back to her.”

Now there is a woman of grace, a woman close to the heart of God.

--Ron Hall and Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent, Same Kind of Different as Me 174-176

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