Vignettes of Love–Part 1: Jim and Jeanette, Post #14

For the month of February, it is on my heart each Transformational Tuesday to share different snapshots of  precious, unconditional love, like God’s love. Please let me know what you think and how you feel afterward. ..

Although they lived several states away from each other, God planned their 1984 meeting in a Washington, DC hotel lobby. She had just had lunch with President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush. He was attending a Mensa (the High IQ Society) convention. The attraction was instant. Their conversation flowed easily. Their mutual deep faith dominated all other similar character traits. Without hesitation, they knew they had a love connection and would see each other again. The telephone lines between Michigan and South Carolina began to sing.

Jim and Jeanette married within the year, a blended family of six adult children. He moved to Charleston, where she lived. Jeanette served as a Charleston County magistrate; Jim owned a construction company.

We belong to the same church, so I witnessed their deep love for each other. I noticed the way they gazed at each other so deeply and adoringly. The way he still opened the car and other doors for her after all these years of marriage. The way he still pulled out her chair. The way he walked beside her on the sidewalk, closest to the street. Watching them I knew, I know, love, chivalry and romance are alive and well. They both served the church as elders and deacons and as leaders in Presbyterian Pilgrimage, a wonderful faith-renewal weekend experience.

Fourteen years ago Jeanette was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Jim didn’t skip a beat. Jeanette retired as a judge in 2007, and Jim retired early from his construction business to take care of his beloved. I was amazed yet not surprised when I found out in 2011 that Jim and Jeanette had published a collection of her stories in Notes From A Reluctant Magistrate.

In October 2013 Jim was diagnosed with leukemia. His first thought was not about himself but about Jeanette and how she would be cared for as he took chemotherapy. His regimen was intense, staying seven straight weeks in Roper Hospital. They made the decision to have her stay in the Presbyterian Home in Summerville. With their son Tim visiting her with an IPad and Jim having his, they were able to Facetime, which was bittersweet for both. As soon as Jim would receive a clean bill of health, he would go home and prepare to pick up Jeanette from the Presbyterian Home. He would hardly take any time to build his strength back…

The story continues…today Jim is back in the hospital with one more ten-day round of chemo. He is scheduled for a bone marrow transplant from his brother in March. Jeanette is being well taken care of in the Presbyterian Home, and they talk as often as they can. Jim’s faith is strong, and he believes he will be healed. Both Jim and Jeanette’s gentle determination is an inspiration to all those around this couple. Keep praying. I believe in miracles, do you?

The Love Chapter from 1 Corinthians 13 epitomizes Jim and Jeanette’s sweet love. “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8 NIV 1984).


–How does your marriage or relationship show unconditional love?

–What can you glean from Jim and Jeanette’s marriage? Please comment below.

–Do you believe in miracles? Name a miracle(s) in your life.


Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself….Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:21-33 NIV 1984).


–What will you do differently to love sacrificially in your marriage or relationship? Please comment below.


–Buy a copy of Jeanette’s book:

–Prayerfully consider attending a Presbyterian Pilgrimage weekend.

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  1. Sheri Hutchins says:

    It is always so encouraging to hear present day stories of true love…my prayers are with them both and their families…love does truly endure all…

  2. Great way to start my day! Thanks DANYA! This REALLY hit home for me. As u know…my cancer journeys were trying but with God and my precious husband on my team…I came through just fine. Life is good! God is great!!

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