This from a sobering story on the downturn from the NYT called “Forced from Executive Pay to Hourly Wage” by Michael Luo that follows a former six-figure executive in his daily work:
“Some unemployed professionals said they decided not to seek even part-time work because it might interfere with their job searches. But Mr. Cooper rises every day at 4 a.m. and, after a time of prayer, devotes two hours to his job hunt on the computer. He prints out a detailed call list of prospective employers to take with him, squeezing in phone conversations during breaks throughout the day from his pickup truck, which he calls his “office.”
“There were times I broke down,” Mr. Cooper said. “I broke down thinking, ‘This is what I’ve become.’ ”
But Mrs. Macias-Cooper, who admitted that she was initially embarrassed about her husband’s new job, says she is now grateful.
“There is no shame,” said Mrs. Macias-Cooper, who grew teary during an interview at their home. “I am very proud of my husband that he will go to any lengths, do whatever it takes, to keep his family afloat, if it means mopping floors, cleaning urinals.”
I might add that it seems that the Coopers are Christians of some sort. The picture attached to the story shows them praying together. Without knowing their denomination, I can say that Mr. Cooper’s efforts to support his family are exemplary.
It is no surprise, furthermore, that he attacks his janitorial work with such gusto, for his wife is clearly proud of him and a deep believer in his efforts to provide. This is an easily overlooked aspect of strong masculine provision. The support of a loving wife does alot to enfranchise a man and infuse his life and work with dignity. Correspondingly, the lack of such support can do much to rob a man of his dignity. Situations like that which the Coopers are facing are very difficult, but strong marriages can withstand them.
Would that the world had more men who took the burden of provision upon themselves, placing it squarely upon their back, and less men who leaned on their wives to carry the heavy load. Such action will have consequences, of course, and will regrettably mean less time at home, but we must trust that in our attempts to provide for those we love, we are doing honorable work that pleases the Lord.