Monday, April 2, 2012

A Letter to Joy: On Serving Together

Dear Joy,

I can still see you sitting to my right, accompanying me at the electric keyboard on that tiny, claustrophobic stage with the heavy, red velvet curtain behind us.

I was the clumsy music leader in the middle, dressed in asuit and tie, standing at the pulpit of that little church with stained glass and squeaky wood pews. I would wave my arm to your rhythm, having not one lesson in conducting.

You’d fumble your way through all 4 stanzas of those old Baptist hymns, smiling the whole way through. You were simply fearless, and I was awestruck by your optimism—even when your hand would accidentally bang a sour chord during my offering prayer.

I look back on those days with such fondness—just two friends, serving together. With all of our mutual musical shortcomings, we were in it for the Lord. And somehow, in all our fumbling fingers and funny hand motions, it was so much fun—even exhilarating—because we were serving together. It was like a little taste of heaven.

Ironically, that early exhilaration of serving together has been at a steady decrescendo over the 15 years since we occupied that squeaky stage together. Our marriage is stronger than it’s ever been, and we still serve together at home with hospitality to strangers and friends alike.

But we both long for those days again at church—me the flawed leader, you fumbling the black keys with a smile, and gracious friends overlooking it all because it’s about Christ's perfection and not our own.

Ministry has been brutal, and full of disappointments that have left us hurt, disillusioned and battered. We still wear those scars, and we even walk with somewhat of a limp. But God is still on His throne. We have alot of living and serving left to do. And I know He’s not done with us among His flock.

This letter is my way to commit to getting us there again—the way God designed us to be, serving side by side in a community exploding with grace. We’re so much better together than we are alone. You have worlds to offer, and haven’t been given much of a chance lately.

I want that little taste of heaven back in our life.


On Mondays, Joy (don’t miss her letter this week) and I join Seth and Amber Haines as they fight the good fight for their marriage. They call this weekly series “Marriage Letters” and pray that it encourages each of us in our own hard work of marriage. This week's prompt is “On Serving Together.” You can join us any time with your own letter to your spouse, whether you both write or blog or not. Amber hosts a link-up on her blog, so we hope you’ll share your letter there!


  1. We're all just fumbling around, but I think that sorting that out is part of what makes a good marriage. It's good to see that you and Joy share so much of the Haines' history. It's far to similar to be mere coincidence... :)

  2. Oh, I hope you do find your way to that kind of teamwork again. Praying for a community that really is a community - one that accepts you for exactly who you are, who appreciates your gifts and rises to the challenge of becoming a true church, the beautiful body of Christ. I think it's coming soon for your both. I do.


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