Friday, November 28, 2008


Yesterday we experienced change that was perhaps inevitable. There were only 14 people at Mom's for Thanksgiving. As compared to the 30 we have frequently had. There were work conflicts (Where did THAT come from?), other in-law gatherings (rarely a conflict for this group before), other complicated "life" situations, and now Grandma-Great (as my nieces and nephew call her) spent her first Thanksgiving with Jesus. [Somehow I doubt that's a day we will celebrate in heaven. :-)]

So, you can imagine the leftovers, even when we knew the crowd would be a little smaller. It's hard to make the adjustments when you have cooked for a certain number for so many years. I think we "missed" Grandma and Grandpa and others more, too. The smaller crowd did allow space for a lively Mexican Train dominoes game and some more personal discussions through the day, so not all the change was bad. Just change.

As one generation passes completely from our lives, the ties that bind seem to loosen more easily. Perhaps it is inevitable, as I said. It makes the time we do have with each other now that much more important.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It only hurts when I touch it

I recall a time while I was still teaching that one of my co-worker's mother passed away.  About six months later, I had occasion to ask how she was doing.  I won't forget her answer. "It's like the little boy with the cut on his finger.  It only hurts when I touch it."

I said bon voyage last night to a friend and her husband who are headed overseas for long-term ministry.   It is a brave and wonderful thing for them and an incredible thing for the Kingdom.  But it is not without significant cost for them and their family, in particular.

Of course I will miss them (I am thankful for technology which will allow some connection in the days ahead!)  and I did expect to experience some emotion, but I was emotionally moved well more than I expected to be.  This morning, I think I can put it into words.  She was the tool God used to begin the healing of the deepest wound in my life, and in the past week, all the gratitude generated by that time has welled up again, and it has been overwhelming.

God's grace in my life has been just that, all along the way - overwhelming.  I am more thankful than I can express for the myriad of people who have been used to touch facets of my life and demonstrate that grace for the "relational" creature that I am.  This morning, I am once again particularly grateful for my friend who today woke up on the other side of the world.  Blessings be on you both.