For better or for worse

Richard Selzer wrote: “I am standing in front of a bed where a young woman is lying who has just had surgery on her face. Her mouth is crooked from paralysis, almost clownish. The small nerve fiber that moved the muscles in her mouth has been severed. Honestly, as a surgeon, I had worked on her muscle in the greatest fear of God. Even so, I had to cut a small nerve fiber to remove the tumor from her cheek. The woman’s young husband is also in the room. He is standing on the other side of the bed and it seems that they are there by themselves, apart from me, in the light of the evening lamp. Who are they, I ask myself, the man and the woman with the crooked lip I made, hugging and touching each other so generously and tenderly? “Will my mouth stay like this?” the woman asks. “Yes,” I answer her, “that’s how it will be.” Because the nerve has been cut.” She nods and remains silent. But the young man replies: “I like it that way. It’s kind of cute.” Suddenly I know who he is. I understand and look down. No one can be ugly from God’s point of view. Without thinking, he leans down to kiss the crooked mouth and I’m so close I can see his lips touch hers to show that they can still kiss.

A serious illness, leg amputation or other injury that changes the rest of your life, chaining you or your loved one to a bed or a wheelchair, can become the biggest test of the words “for better or for worse”. In such painful moments, we discover the truth hidden in the Word: “Love never fades.”

Bob & Debby Gass “Word for Today”

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