Don’t miss the moment……

Just the simple observations of a quiet morning walk can sometimes have the power to set the whole world right“….this was taken out in the back forty of my brother’s yard.
Coming home, I realize as always that I have brought them all back with me. I hear their voices still in the quiet moments of reflection. This trip was so good on so many levels. We arrived, my friend and I, on the heels of a storm, a very windy one. We blew good weather in it seems, for the whole week we were there it dawned sunny and bright……unseasonably so. It seems we brought the good weather of Arizona and they were all happy we did. 
The trip all started with a phone call. My Mom told me that my cousin had arranged for a group to attend the performance of  “In the Mood.” It started me to thinking……how often will we all be able to get together like this again, my two Aunts, my cousin, my Mom and I? My friend also needed to see her brother, it was time.
Ever have a trip that seemed God ordained? The timing was right for so many things……This trip was like a string of miracles, one after another. Every now and then a trip works out that way.
How wonderful to be heralded by a little head looking out the window in anticipation of my arrival. She was standing on the bed and as soon as she saw me she started jumping up and down.
My friend went on to Modesto, her home town, where she got to spend two wonderful days on a mostly deserted beach in Moss Landing. From her description, I felt I went there myself. It was a good time for just the two of them, and I prayed that they would get to do that together. Another answered prayer…..
And another miracle, she got to attend church with her Nephew, who has been reunited with his wife, now clean and off drugs….both of them now off the street with their six children, all of them in church and doing remarkably well. To think that so much heartache and pain could lead to this? Only God could do that……so many sleepless nights, so many tears and prayers shed for them. To be able to put all that aside and extend grace to them now, that’s Holy Spirit work!
She was also reunited with a friend of long ago, now a Christian too, and clean and sober after many years of addiction. There was much joy in their reunion, sisters now and friends again twenty years down the road….
Even little miracles happened on this trip……I wandered into Tom’s Used Books, never hoping to find a book I was looking for, since it was several years old, and there on the shelf was one copy!
I got to attend an event in my Old High School auditorium that has now been turned into a theater. I would go again in a heartbeat, it was great! Afterwards we went to my Aunt’s house where she layed out a wonderful buffet, complete with champagne. I know it would have been easy for her not to do it. My Uncle suffers from severe dementia and she is his caretaker now….but still, she created a magical evening for us. It was a precious time spend with wonderful friends and family.
One of the best memories I brought back was when my Mom, my Aunt and I sang at the piano just like we used to for so many years….we sang the old hymns together as my cousin held the flashlight, (My Uncle has broken all the lightbulbs)
All my life I have been surrounded by strong people who in spite of much hardship, have never lost the miracle of the moment. They have taught me how to slow down enough to see the magic happening all around us, all of the time……What a gift! How blessed I am to have learned that lesson from them.
photos taken with iphone

Imagining how it was…..

I was asked the other day if I thought Jesus sang…….like did He ever walk down the road and break into song? I said I thought He probably did. The Bible says He sang songs of worship with His disciples, and He was filled with the Spirit so, yes I believe there were times when He spontaneously burst into song. Just imagining that set my mind in motion. Can you imagine hearing Him sing, or laugh? Seeing His face light up with a smile?

I think sometimes it is hard for us to think of Jesus as fully human. But I love to imagine Jesus doing the simple things of life. Walking down the road with His friends, or maybe helping His Mom with a task around the house, sitting down to dinner with His family. It is hard for us, for me anyway, to imagine Him being silly or joking around. Did He tease His Mother? Pull a practical joke on His brothers or sisters? I like to think He did. He was after all, fully God but also fully man, and fully human. 

I like to imagine those simple times when He greeted His friends with a smile or put an arm around them while walking, lifting His face to Heaven while He prayed, or sang a song, swung a child around just to listen to them laugh.

I like this form of meditation, imagining Jesus and how it was….. I think that many times He probably felt very burdened when He looked out over the crowds, at the immensity of the need, the desperation. I think it made Him sad many times, when people just didn’t get the message, couldn’t grasp His love for them.

But I also think there were times when Jesus had to lighten the mood by cracking a joke.

Something Worth Singing About

The best way to honor someone’s legacy is to pass it on……. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 15:12

One of the most valuable things I learned, and am still learning from my parents is that no matter what life throws at you, you just keep going, press on, never sink into defeat. You tighten the straps of your backpack and hit the trail again.You can despair for a time, but ultimately you get up and start doing what has to be done, keep the rhythm of life going. For as long as I can remember, my Mom has started the day singing. She does it a bit less now…..her days are long and she has many aches and pains, but she still gets up before everyone else. She presses on. She has always found something worth singing about. She knows the song of redemption.

Love is showing through demonstration that there is always a reason to sing because life is a gift. 

I was raised with music, singing. I was raised with people who believed that there was always something worth singing about. My Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, all of us gathered around while somebody played the piano or organ…..I can still hear their voices even now all these years later, my Grandmother’s warbly soprano, my Aunt’s alto harmonies, the plink-plink of my Uncle Bill’s banjo. What wonderful memories those are, they weaved themselves into the fabric of my very being, they are part of who I am today.

There is something about singing that lifts the spirit when nothing else can. There is power in song. This is part of our very DNA set there by our Creator. He first put the song in our hearts and He sang the stars into existence! Ever notice that kids find it very easy to sing? It just comes naturally. But life can really stifle that song right out of you at times…..you don’t have to let it. Heaven is filled with music we can scarely imagine, and when we sing in spite of how bad things may get down here, we bring part of Heaven down on earth. Turn that old music master Satan’s instrument against him!

I think of the Slaves, singing out through the depths and horrors of bondage, of death all around them. I think of soldiers singing as they march into battle……I think of Paul and Silas’ song in prison and Jesus and His disciples singing a hymn before they went out into the black night of sorrow. They were all thinking of the joy set before them as Jesus was……Freedom, peace, deliverance, Heaven…….

This morning I remembered all those songs. They made me sad for times past, but also encouraged me to pick up the song and sing with them. As I was pouring my coffee, The Holy Spirit breathed a little song into my heart that I had completely forgotten about and I found myself singing it on the way to work, though I had a hard time remembering the melody for the first few bars…….The lyrics say……”You are the reason I sing, You who taught all bells of Heaven to ring, I had no song just drifted along, but now You’re the reason I sing……”

Yes, that redemption song. That’s the best way to honor all who have gone before, and those still with me, I choose to keep singing the song of hope and never stop.