Today, I sat with a woman whose husband is dying. We sat by his bed, held his hand, prayed a little, told a few stories.
They have been married over 70 years. They both walk with canes. They would hold each other up, watch out for one another.
"My friends wondered what I saw in him," she said. "Because of the age difference. And because he walked with a limp. He had polio when he was a child. But I didn't see the limp, not until they they mentioned it. I looked at his heart. I didn't see the limp. I saw his heart, and it was strong and good.
"My friends -- a lot of them got divorced." She didn't exactly say it with a tone of triumph, but as a simple statement -- it pays to look at the heart, and not at outward things.
"They said it wouldn't last," she said again, "because of the age difference."
"What age difference is there?' I asked her. I never knew.
"Seven years," she said. "I'm 90 and he is 97. Back in those days you only married someone your own age. So they said it wouldn't last. That, and the limp. They wondered what I saw in him."
They have been taking care of each other for over 70 years, each of them keeping an eye on the other, each of them holding the other one up, each of them looking at the heart.
We held hands, we prayed, we told stories. I made the sign of the cross on his forehead, and said, "You are sealed with the Holy Spirit, and marked with the cross of Christ forever."
For 70 years, when they held each other up, it was Jesus who was holding on, through their faithfulness. For 70 years, when they kept an eye on each other, it was Jesus watching out for them, through their faithfulness.
If you look at the heart, that's what you see.