Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Quiet and Gentle Breeze

When I was a little girl, my family and I lived on a small island in Puget Sound, a short ferry boat ride away from Seattle.  My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins lived on the same island, as did our entire circle of friends and acquaintances.  Our island was small.  Everybody knew everyone else.  Our neighbors were like family and our family were our neighbors.  Island living was small-town living at its best (and sometimes, at its worst). 

Across the street, in a yellow farmhouse that was built in the 20's, lived an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Breeze.  Mrs. Breeze was a wonderful, meek gentlewoman.  She was tiny, soft spoken and much beloved by my brother and I.  On occasion, Mrs. Breeze would appear at the end of her driveway as my brother and I walked by on our way to school.  Seeing her, we would trot across the street to give her a quick hug and she would reward us with small paper bags of homemade caramel corn.  Our walk to school was bathed in the warm glow of neighborly love and sugary sweetness.  We loved Mrs. Breeze.

Mr. Breeze was another story.  He was gruff and surly, perhaps even a little bit mean.  Any time my brother or I would knock on Mrs. Breeze's door, she would quickly usher us through the living room, past Mr. Breeze and into her sunny, light-filled kitchen.  But, no matter how quickly we scampered, we could never escape the living room without at least a little bit of bluster from Mr. Breeze. 

Sweet Mrs. Breeze and her cheerful kitchen were well worth mustering the courage to rush past Mr. Breeze.  She would seat us at her homey table, pour tall, cold, glasses of milk and set out a pretty, flowered plate full of Vanilla Wafers.  To this day I cannot eat a 'nila wafer without think of Mrs. Breeze.  Every crisp, golden cookie reminds me of gentleness, kindness and a sunny yellow kitchen.

Although I didn't know it at the time, Mrs. Breeze was an extraordinary woman.  Mrs. Breeze had married Mr. Breeze when she was very young.   They'd had a family, lived a life.  And every day of that life, Mrs. Breeze had prayed.  She had prayed for a husband that didn't know the God she served.  She had prayed for  husband that was mean and sometimes violent.  She had prayed for a husband that drove her children away and made them loath to visit.  She had prayed for a husband that was unlovable and incapable of loving. 

Mrs. Breeze loved Mr. Breeze in a way that is only possible through Jesus.  She loved him when he told her she couldn't attend church.  She loved him when he grouched at the neighbor children.  She loved him with a simple, gentle love - a love that he didn't deserve but was worthy of her Savior.  Mrs. Breeze radiated Jesus' love to her husband for over 60 years.  60 years that would have reduced a lesser woman to hopelessness.  60 years that could have hardened her heart and embittered her soul.  But Mrs. Breeze understood eternity.  She knew that as long as her husband drew breath, there was hope.  She trusted that Jesus was her champion and her redeemer and that He heard her prayers.  She trusted His word.  She had faith that could move a mountain. 

And move a mountain it did.  When Mr. Breeze was in his late 80's, he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He was a changed man.  He spent his remaining (few) years cherishing his wife and building relationships with his children.  No longer did my brother and I run through the living room on the way to the kitchen, now we stopped to visit, and even hold hands, with this new, jovial man that was Mr. Breeze.

As a grown woman, I know Mrs. Breeze in a way that I never imagined as a little girl.  Where I used to see her as a quiet, gentle, tiny lady, I now know that she was a mighty warrior.  She battled on behalf of her husband - not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities.  In her quiet and gentle way she led her husband to the throne of Christ, though it cost her much - everything.  She persevered, in spite of common wisdom, and gained the world.   

Mrs. Breeze was my first Titus 2 woman, even though I was only 7 years old....

"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that none will malign the word of God."
Titus 2:3-5

Our marriages are precious.  God is faithful.  Be that quiet and gentle breeze.  It can move mountains.


  1. Thank you, Enola. I always enjoy your posts, but this one, extra special today. Thank you, again.

    1. I agree - a wonderful story and a great reminder of what God can do through those who persevere.

  2. Your post today is more special today that you could possibly know. God knew.

  3. My husband witnessed to his father the atheist engineer for 30 years after he became a Christian himself. Dying of bone cancer, afraid of death - that atheist prayed the sinners prayer with my husband on the phone, 12 hours later Dad died, but we will see him again. It is awesome to be reminded to never give up! Thanks for your post, made me think!

  4. Moved me to tears. I have a beautiful marriage to a wonderful man, but there are had days and seasons. Thank you for being a willing vessel and letting Jesus speak through you!

  5. I am so glad that you have started posting again! You have a real way with words and make my day lighter for it. Thank you!!

  6. Thank you. This was a very, *very* timely reminder for me.

  7. I think I commented a few weeks ago. My husband claimed to be a Christian when we married. Now he has turned his back on that, and also on me. Tonight he told me that he picked up the packet of divorce papers at the courthouse. He's also checking out other women, and it was feelings for an atheist co-worker (unreciprocated) which proved toxic to what 'faith' he'd had. I've been praying, many people have been praying, and it's not over yet since we won't do anything further for a month or so. Thanks for sharing the story of Mrs. Breeze. My faith was ready to falter, but I am encouraged and will do what I can while there is still time.

  8. Beautiful message. Powerful, in fact. Thank you for a message that I needed today.

  9. Thank you for this post. I have been praying for my husband for over 23 years. We have only been married for 15 of those years. We dated 8 years earlier but he moved out of state to pursue another woman. I went on with my life even though I always believed he was the one. He moved back to his hometown where we met and our paths finally crossed again. We began dating in February, he proposed in April and on June 30th we will celebrate 15 years. All of this to say that he does not go to church with me but I continue to pray for him. Many times I have grown discouraged and feel like these prayers go nowhere. But your post has renewed my hope, convicted me of my lack of faith and encouraged me to spend more time in prayer for my husband. God bless you for being a faithful servant and willing vessel.

  10. Wow! What a great post! This lady's faith and perseverance will bless many souls.

  11. This took my breath away. She won! The devil wanted that man dead for eternity but through Yahweh she won!