Zach loves unconditionally. To love me unconditionally takes a little practice, I’d think. My mom and God must be exhausted. Zach, even though he’s a Rookie at loving me unconditionally, just slipped right into place.
There are moments when I am so undeserving of his love and yet, that’s when he reaches out the most. Without hesistation. I want to be that way. I want to love him better. I want to love everyone I know better.
Here’s a mildly comical, very unfortunate, example 1 of 2,302,497 times Zach has shown me this kind of love:
The week had been a bit busy for me. I was at school late most nights. Zach hadn’t been feeling well, so I was doing my best to take care of him and my work responsibilities and my housework fell through the cracks. Namely, the laundry.
Zach had the day off and asked as I was leaving, “What can I do around here to help out today?” Normally I answer something like, “Brush Mal.” “Run the vacuum.” “Unload the dishwasher.” Etc…Little things that don’t take a lot of time and that I don’t need to be in control of. Yep, I said it.
But this day, I was so overwhelmed so I asked him to help with the laundry. I wanted him to wash a load of whites but I didn’t want him using bleach, so I left detailed instructions for how to wash the whites the way I wanted them. I don’t
let ask Zach to do the laundry very often because, quite frankly, I’m controlling.
So Zach did the laundry and I thanked him, but I didn’t get a chance to fold it or unload it the night before. In the morning, after I was done getting ready for work, I decided to take care of the laundry before leaving. I pulled the whites out so that I could move the washer stuff into the dryer…you know the drill.
I noticed that the bleach was down on the dryer and I quickly put it back up on the shelf. It tipped back, the cap fell off, and before I knew it bleach was pouring onto my head, face, clothes, etc.
I ran to the bathroom. The second I got my face rinsed off (thank heavens nothing ended up in my eyes) I made eye contact with Zach and said with such anger, “You are NEVER doing the laundry again! SERIOUSLY!!!!”
“Wait! Why? What? What happened.”
“I told you not to use bleach, you did. You also left it out and didn’t screw the cap back on correctly.”
Here’s the part where I mention that as soon as I said these words it did occur to me that the fault could have been mine. But it couldn’t be..because then I’d have nobody but myself to blame. It had to be him so I stood there firm in my anger.
“I didn’t use the bleach, Shar. You told me not to. I did it like you said. I wondered why the bleach was out, but I didn’t use it. I didn’t touch it.”
He didn’t retaliate with anger. He wasn’t putting me in my place. He just responded.
I squirmed a little as I uttered, “I’m sorry. I just wanted to be mad at someone I guess.”
“It’s okay. I understand.” And with that, he went and got a rag and started cleaning up the mess that was in the laundry room. He came back and reported that my favorite skirt had gotten the worst of the bleach, “I’m sorry. We’ll have to see if we can find you a new one.”
Is this a display of our daily lives? No. But I can be volatile like this. I erupt. I overreact. I place blame.
Zach has his share of faults, too, but it honestly stops my breath sometimes, the way he loves. I am in total awe of it at times.
And if you’d ask him, he’d say the same about me. But how? How when I yell and scream and blame and jump to conclusions. How does he say that I love him like that?
It’s simple. He doesn’t focus on those things about me. Instead he focuses on the ways I do show him I love him and the little things I do for him. I know this because I’ve asked him a million times..everytime I screw up..How do you still love me so much? And that’s always his answer.
And because of that, I’m starting to understand even more why the family is essential to our happiness. Why it’s a commandment to marry and have children. Because through my marriage, I get to learn to love like Jesus and I get to be loved like that, too. I get to understand how patient my Heavenly Father must be with me. How forgiving. How good.
And that reminds me that I’m worth it. And it reminds me to not give up on myself.
That is what unconditional love does for a person.
*Photos courtesy of MDietz Photography