It’s Sweet William’s birthday. We will celebrate as we can, in ways he is able. Life presents its challenges to both of us. We are in process, he and I, the process to become more like Christ. It can be uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s painful.
Some have asked about me calling him Sweet William. There were years when Wild Bill fit him a little better. His hard hat at work bore that label. The wild young man I took as my husband was fearless to tackle any project.
The years have mellowed him, tendered him. It happened to both of us. God has continually worked to change us into someone different, someone better, someone more like Jesus. Grace flowed down on both of us, and we are living proof that beauty indeed can rise from the ashes.
There’s a flower called Sweet William, a perennial I’ve grown in my garden. The flowers are delicate. My Sweet William doesn’t look delicate at all. He is tall and broad-shouldered still in spite of too many health problems. In those tender years of our courtship, he was strong and able to do back flips leaving quite an impression on this girl’s heart. When he wrapped his big hand around mine, I felt protected and safe.
Time and illness have taken its toll on him, but he is still not delicate. With the health challenges and pain he has endured, he is anything but delicate. He is courageous and the bravest man I know.
I pray for a year of hope and healing for my Sweet William. Though the thorns try to obscure, the flowers, the roses, the sweet williams are still there. We will look for them. We will enjoy them in the ways we are able. And we will thank God for them.