When I returned home from a juicy day at school yesterday, I found myself wishing for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. I was remembering the unique ways Betty MacDonald’s protagonist cured children of their behavior issues, and I needed her help. For me, not my angelic students or likely less-than-angelic children. (Truly.) And for a cold, not my behavior (though she might be able to improve it).
I specifically was remembering her “Crybaby Cure” chapter, in which she cured poor Melody Foxglove of her tendency to cry over everything and nothing. The chapter was filled with Melody’s wails of “Woooooooooo ooooo, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, bawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww” and stuffy statements such as, “You’re so bead to be I cad’t sta’d it. You shake be and jerk be and push be.” Her brothers (lovingly?) called her “Old-Wet-Washrag-Foxglove.” Her father said she was “one of the juiciest children I’ve ever cuddled,” and her mother said, “I declare you must like to look like a stewed tomato.”
The Foxgloves might have been talking about me. I hadn’t been crying all day, but my cold had moved from sore throat to “my nose runneth over” status, and, by the end of the school day, I found myself blowing my nose every two minutes, fighting a perpetual sensation to sneeze. My nose was red and raw, and, to be honest, I felt terrible.
Thankfully, my dear husband was willing to order out food, and when my less-than-angelic children went to fetch it, he encouraged me to take a long soak in the bathtub, something I hadn’t done for too many years to count. I soaked and soaked, then dried off, climbed into pajamas and bed to watch TV, and promptly started crying.
We weren’t watching anything tear-worthy, mind you. We were watching the Republican National Convention. My husband had recorded the speeches of Ann Romney and Chris Christie from the night before, and while the rest of America applauded and cheered at the televised convention, I cried–because both speakers touched my heart. Their spoken truth, their tender memories, and my love and true hope for this country moved me to tears.
But it was more than that. It was the absolute comfort and confidence I felt in my husband’s love for me. Instead of being repelled by my juicy germiness, he sat beside me, likely in wonder at my tears as we both reacted (quite differently) to the speeches. Rather than ridiculing me for being such crybaby, he patiently overlooked the tears and, instead, conversed about the truth and hope in the speakers’ words. Earlier, he had demonstrated his love for me by his concern over my physical state, his willingness to order out dinner, his suggestion of the hot bath and complete relaxation. In my weakness, he was strong. Despite my germiness, he came near and loved me.
He reminds me of another husband, Jesus Christ, the bridegroom of the Church (Eph. 5:22). In our weakness, He is strong (2 Cor. 12:7-10). In our sinful state, He came near and died in our place (Romans 5:8). Even more than my husband’s love for me, more than the love Ann Romney mentioned or the truth and hope within the evening’s messages, Jesus is the real truth, the real hope, and the ultimate love that moves me to tears.
And though Mrs. Piggle Wiggle didn’t appear to offer some delicious medicine that would turn my eyes into faucets and thus cure me of being a crybaby, I did find that being a crybaby seemed to lessen, if not cure, my cold symptoms. The sneezing sensation disappeared; my runny nose calmed. I became less juicy and looked less like a stewed tomato.
And I feel asleep, comforted by the love of my husband and my Lord, with hope for this land I love.