Thursday, May 20, 2010

I want to be like him!

I am a student of my husband.

The more I study him, the more I am inspired by him.

The more I am inspired by him, the more I want to be like him!

I realise, this is perhaps the biggest compliment a spouse could get. I don’t know about you, but in my case, I have had many a personality I was drawn to initially, but have ended up having a sort of repulsion as time went by, because the more I went close to them, the more of their flaws I saw. Then I’d realise that the initial overwhelming impression of “Wow! What a man/woman!” was all an exaggeration of the little good that I could find in them in my limited interaction with them.

It doesn’t thrill me to conclude that the only perfect man to walk the earth was and will be Jesus, knowing that we are all called to be like Him. It is a tall order. I don’t expect myself or others to be totally like Jesus in everything. The checkpoint can be, “Am I a little more like Jesus today than I was yesterday?” But, somewhere deep inside, I hope to find someone who resembles the most to the Jesus I know. Not some kind stranger on the street whose tenderness of character might impress me for that moment- I don’t know how he is on a mundane day with his wife, children, parents, boss or subordinate, and whether what I saw in him was just a sudden spree of goodness that happens to him once in a blue moon! I yearn to find at least a far-flung reflection of Jesus in someone I know close enough to judge fair. 

Then, I met my husband. After a year and a few months of living with him and knowing him closely, here’s what I found.

He is just another ordinary young man with no natural advantage over weaknesses. He is prone to get angry, just as anyone is. What makes him extra-ordinary is that he doesn’t sin in his anger. I consider his greatest strength to be his control over his tongue, the most difficult organ to tame! I haven’t caught him speak a word that hurts, let alone cursing or swearing, even when he’s fuming inside with anger.

He is as susceptible as anyone to pride. What makes him different is that he acknowledges his area of failing and takes precautions. I’m amazed at the many times he evades exclamations on his education by making a plain statement, “Yeah, I moved out of home for my engineering; I went to Rajastan”. I’ve noticed that many people wouldn’t want to know where in Rajastan, and thus he would have cleverly avoided undue attention on himself. But there have been a curious few who probed, “Ok, so where there?” The answer to that was a crisp, “Pilani” and looking away to avoid further questions. I can remember only one time, when the other person exclaimed “Oh, BITS, Pilani?” to which he gave a nonchalant nod as the answer. May be, this is one area he has overcome and that leaves several others, where he shows prompt willingness to examine himself. Being his wife, I am his worst critic. When faced with criticisms, this man listens, and more so, listens defenceless! Then he sinks into an exasperating self-examination mode. When I insist that he responds, he does it with a “Thank you for pointing that out. I’m wondering how to bring about a change, but I’d give my best”. I can guarantee that he gives his best to any change that would make him a better man.

Sometimes, I find it difficult to believe that he has faced the worst of rejections in life. If total surrender to God can buy one immunity from the world around, he is a perfect testimony. He cares a lot about people, but very little about what they think of him. I see a totally healed man with his identity safe in God; I am yet to meet a more secure person than him!

If there is anything quite impossible to do to him, it is to offend him- he has an ego that is too docile to be pricked to action! He breezes through difficult situations unaffected, when a ‘normal’ person like me would go beserk with offence!

He finds it possible, and at times easy, to forgive and forget. He can talk about a hurt in the past with an unfading smile on his face. Try talking to me about something that has deeply hurt me and I would break into tears in a matter of a few minutes! His ‘indifference’ to the pain of the past has not ceased to evoke a sense of awe in me. When I repeatedly ask him about how he manages to do it, he says this, as if it is the simplest thing in the world to understand, “It’s like this- when God heals you, you don’t even remember how it felt back then, and it is so easy to forgive!”

I’m not trying to prove that he’s made it. Undoubtedly, there are new challenges awaiting him pointing to newer areas in his character to be worked on, and it is my prayer that Christ-likeness will triumph in him, through it all.

What I have discovered though, is that people who resemble Jesus exist. And that gives me hope!

I wish to be like Jesus some day, and I guess it’s not a bad idea to start with a tangible role model. So, precious husband, let me start with you. I want to be like you!

Ps: Be kind enough not to quote anything from this post to my husband and embarrass him. Thank you!