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Archive for March, 2014

Farewell

Farewell.

 

To say goodbye is everyone’s wish at the end,” he said, “but never granted. It is time, Keturah.”

~~~Martine Leavitt, Keturah and Lord Death.

 

 

I wrote out a numbered schedule, hit an enter key to shoot it off to my friend 555-some miles away from me. Both of us can see thoughts in milliseconds, through G-chatting.

I’d just come back from a teaching job, and numbered out ideas and plans. Because checking something off of a to-do list brings a high all of its own.

1. Have a cup of hot tea.

 2. Sit down and memorize a few chapters…give a couple hours for that….

 3. (I should put piano practice in this slot….) Piano practice.

 4. Write! Or read! A lot!

 The two of us smiled at my reluctance to tickle the keys, and then fell silent. (Considering an instant message conversation’s only noises are little key-board clicks.)I began to read, then noticed that the little icon signalling her online presence was gray.

Two possibilities.

 “Didst leave?” (enter-key)

“Or is your computer giving you trouble?” (enter-key)

 ” I hope it is the latter…..Because we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.”

The page turn for my 21st chapter happened a week ago, today. Twenty-one….India’s coming of age, as opposed to 18 in America.
Goals and dreams….there’s ongoing targets from previous years, and some new ones that bode an interesting journey for this Arrow.
My twenty-first bids me say goodbye.

 It struck me first as a fifteen-year-old, sitting in a living room packed 20-some relatives full….
Why do we wait until those we love are gone to share the memories, to praise and bless, to thank?
“Without her there in that spot, this room feels so empty!” an aunt exclaimed. Her bracelets made a quiet song as she gestured to a spot on the couch nobody thought to occupy. Yes, the room was empty, though people filled it. And though the sharing and unity was sweet, it was unshared with the one who should have had it.

 

 We express love, we hold each other just a little closer, take a little time to look at a person– to truly gaze and let souls touch for a moment– when we say goodbye. We give thanks to let them know their goodness was not taken for granted…that it was known and appreciated. In goodbye is our chance to encourage, to leave behind solid blocks of ivory, and radiant yards of silk with which they might build and beautify and remember.

But we rarely do say goodbye.

It has been said that  “To say goodbye is everyone’s wish….but never granted.”

Never granted, for it was never thought of. Naively we trust in all the time in the world and do not think that farewell is a thief in the night, who in a moment wraps in his embrace, and in another is too far for words to catch.

Why, oh why do we tarry till too late to say goodbye! One rose given in life means more than bouquets over a coffin.

Why will we not live the love, while we can love the life?


My twenty-first bids me say farewell to those I love…for now might be my last chance.

 

 

 

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~~I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart?~~~

~~~Francesca Battisteli, “Write Your Story

Tears, and he didn’t even know all that lay behind them.

He couldn’t have known the hideous struggles I’ve had with certain secret sins…he couldn’t have known that, after almost twenty years, I’d finally put a name to one of them. Too horrible, and I’d had to close my eyes when typing it on my computer journal. The past few days had been wretched, but really, there were months of wretchedness building. And the man sitting in flannel PJs, under the covers of the bed I was sprawled over, didn’t know about the couple hours I’d spent trying to pour out my despair and hopelessness on a word document the previous night.

What he did know was that I doubted and feared. Something I’d trusted in had been kicked out from under me, and something I treasured dearly was on the verge of shattering.

Black hair flowing down into the same black-prickly beard and moustache  that framed the same roguish smile I’d known my whole life.  My father’s. My Appa’s.

What was meant to be a basic question turned into that question… and doubts…fears…and tears.

He held up his hand.
“Before you get carried away…there are going to be people all through life who are intellectual giants. And next to them, yes, you will feel like a bumbler…a dunderhead. And they have the high, philosophical complex way of explaining God. But do they really know Him? What really matters? Much of these theories and philosophies are false. The Gospel is a simple thing, and Christ calls us to come to Him as little children. And that is why you will never intellectually argue a person into the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why you can never convert a person. Only Christ can.  What really matters is knowing the Lord and believing on His name.

All these people, all their high knowledge….are they all going to Heaven? Not all, unfortunately.” He raised his arm, shrugged his shoulders and felt the tragedy of the statement. I waited for the finger to point down, indicating the other location. And it did, but not how I expected….

“The rich man, all his wealth and glory…and in Hell he lifted up his eyes and asked Lazarus to take his finger and put one drop of water on his tongue.” He gestured with his finger, and I could almost see that one drop of Living Water, which will be all-most-important when everything is said and done, and which, really, IS all-most-important now in the unsaid and undone. 

It was all that that rich man finally longed for.

I’d just been teaching some girls this truth the other day…that all the knowledge in the world is NOTHING if you don’t have Christ. Christ is the True Word, and yet we keep losing sight of Him in a clutter of words. Frustrated with working a camera’s settings, we never look up from buttons to really see the mountains. I’d told the girls this. Funny how the mind and heart sometimes don’t connect. Or perhaps the heart forgets.

“And there was a quote…” he turned sideways, as though trying to reach for a book that wasn’t in the room. “I don’t remember if it was by Ray Comfort…but he said,  ‘ Take a fish and ask it to climb a tree, or to walk on dry ground. That’s stupid, but put it in the water, and there is the true beauty of the fish.’ Don’t compare yourself or feel that in some way they are better than you. What has been given to you, what has been given to them, is from God. The question is, are you glorifying God with your gift, your beauty? The Jews required a sign, and the Greeks, those intellectual giants, thought it was foolishness. But unto us which are saved…” He looked up, and his eyes met mine and went even further. “…unto us which are saved, it is the power of God!

He was done. And suddenly, my pain and fears from the past few months fell away like rattly shells, broken off and blown away.  I’ve known and loved superheroes….but never one whose love fearlessly brings The Light the way my father does.

“There in the darkest night of the soul,

There in the sweetest songs of victory

Your grace finds me

Yes, Your grace finds me”

                               ~~ Matt Redman, “Your Grace Finds Me”

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