“Everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open.” Mark 4:22
Heather Rowe read these words from Mark’s Gospel with the sudden impression that God was about to reveal something important about her husband, Paul. Despite their love for each other, she felt frustrated by her husband’s insensitivity, hostility, and social awkwardness. He often withdrew when others were present, preferring to play video games or read. His comments sometimes bordered on cruelty. He never seemed to care how she felt, despite all her attempts to tell him. Feeling guilty about her reactions to her husband’s behaviors, she cried out to God, asking him to transform her:
“Lord,” she pleaded, “my husband’s arrogance, his cynicism, his neglect, his hostility are laying heavily on me like a massive weight!”
“Why are you wearing them?” The question came suddenly.
Startled, she realized she had been taking these things on herself by the way she had reacted to him over the years.
“What are you going to do with them?” God asked.
She responded by saying she wanted to nail everything to the cross—all the arrogance, pride, resentment, cynicism, neglect, and hostility.
“What do you have left?” God seemed to say.
“I am seeing a lonely, frightened little boy.”
“Do you think you could love him?”
“Oh yes, I could love him. I could take him in my arms and comfort him.”
Later, she explained, “God told me to try to see that lonely, frightened little boy every time I looked at my husband. He told me to look beyond all the other rubbish because he took all of that on himself on the cross.”1
A short time later, Heather discovered that her husband had Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. No wonder he acted the way he did. Greater understanding has brought with it greater peace, though there are still struggles. By coming before God in prayer and by listening to his Word, Heather has experienced God enabling her to accept and love her husband, despite his challenges.
Like Heather, we cry out to God about our own difficult relationships.
Like her, let us trust him to respond.
- Heather Rowe, “My Husband Has Asperger Syndrome,” Woman Alive, accessed November 21, 2016, http://www.womanalive.co.uk/articles?articleaction=view&articleid=546.