Friday, May 17, 2013

Convergence

 
 
All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever. 
Isaiah 40:6b, 8

 
I love it when God sends me flowers!

He knows how I cherish their unexpected arrival in the middle of an otherwise ordinary day. They burst onto the scene . . . . adorned in vibrant beauty . . . . releasing their intoxicating fragrance . . . . changing the atmosphere with their very presence.

Like Moses at the burning bush, I just have to stop whatever I'm doing and take it all in. . . . savor the experience fully . . . . graciously receive the costly offering they have lavished upon me, understanding that their moment of fullness has come . . . . that their destiny has now been fulfilled. . . . and that the time of their fading has begun. The two lives intersect for a moment in time, and each is changed by the other. . . . Their convergence is now complete.

God sent me a special flower today . . . . His gift to me was delightful, and though the encounter was brief . . . Her fragrance lingers still, even interrupting my sleep.

I had dreaded and put off a much-needed doctor's appointment for a couple of weeks, but I had promised myself that today was the day. The waiting room of our local rural health clinic is always packed wall-to-wall with weary souls, and today was no exception. I chose my spot in the crowded room and unpacked all the diversions I had brought along to distract myself. I settled down into my bunker and prepared to endure. To think, that in my narrowness of heart and self-absorption, I came close to missing out on the wonderful gift that was being delivered just for me . . . .

She walked in the door a short time later. I looked up from my iPad, smiled, and said, "Good Morning."  Noticing that there weren't many empty seats, I cleared the place next to me, and she sat down. There was no apparent common denominator between the two of us . . . . our ages were from different decades . . . . our skin colors were of contrasting hues . . . . our fashion styles clashed dramatically. . . . based on first impressions, it is likely that our social circles differed, as well as our bank accounts. But . . . . nevertheless . . . . in this most dreary, routine, and unceremonious setting . . . a moment of divine convergence was upon us. 

Even before our conversation began, I sensed the invisible, yet undeniable connection that already existed. . . . I heard the distinct rumblings of "deep calling to deep".  Within a few moments, we had both flung wide the doors of our hearts and begun to simultaneously spill out the contents.  It was if we had been waiting for this moment in time to be able to release what had been held back. Life and truth, beauty and pain, shared experiences and lessons learned came rushing in torrents out of the two streams . . . . from two different perspectives . . . . from two different worlds . . . . yet now converging as one in a beautiful, cascading River of Life, so that one was lost in the other. I drank thirstily and unashamedly from her, and she from me.

It was such a lovely time, and I heard the sound of my name being called all too quickly. I stood to leave, but was compelled to turn around to embrace her for a moment. Sometimes you must simply bury your face in the bouquet to absorb all of it's essence. Poppa had so perfectly orchestrated this exchange, and it was hard to see His beautiful flower begin to fade from my sight . . . . But it's purpose was now complete . . . . two lives intersecting for a moment in time . . . . each forever changed by the other.
 
I completed the scheduled lab work that had brought me here this morning, paid my bill, and re-entered the front lobby.  I quickly scanned the room for the familiar face . . . . but, just as I had expected, she was no longer there . . .   I wished I had asked her name.
 
As I stepped outside into the morning sunshine, I was surprised to find her out on the front walk, stretching her legs for a bit.  My heart leaped for joy!  We once again eagerly connected, each expressing our thanks for the newly shared friendship. 
 
I said my final goodbye, began to head toward my car, and then suddenly remembered . . . . "Oh!  By the way, I am Melody . . . . What is your name?" I asked as I turned back around. 

"Lily", she replied, "my name is Lily." . . . . Of course . . . . big smile . . . . savor the moment . . . . take it all in.

I love it when God sends me flowers!


Now thanks be to God
who always leads us in triumph in Christ,
 and through us diffuses the fragrance
of His knowledge in every place.
II Corinthians 2:14 


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Letting Go . . . .



Today was an odd day . . . . not sad or depressing or disappointing . . . . just a little disorienting . . . . or RE-orienting, maybe?

I had prepared myself ahead of time for change. I had purposefully fixed my mind on the many blessings in my life; I had reached out to some whom I felt might be struggling today; I had kept my heart in a state of thanksgiving. I realize now that I had been bracing myself for some unseen tsunami that I sensed might come from nowhere and sweep me away, never to be found again.

Today, on this first Mother's Day since her passing, I found myself alone in my mom's almost empty house . . . .wandering around the now unfamiliar rooms, stopping to bury my nose in her Youth Dew bath powder, running my fingers through some of her clothing still hanging in the closet . . . . desperately searching for something familiar to cling to. I found nothing. That house is just a building now and, strangely, I felt like an intruder there in that place I once called home.

Today was an important milestone in my life . . . .a day for burial . . . .a day for letting go . . . . a day for moving on. This was a day for plunging myself down deeper into the heart of Poppa God to gulp from the bottomless wells of His grace . . . . a day for flinging myself violently into all that He is and allowing myself to be swallowed up completely in His all-consuming Love.

Today, I learned anew that He is more than enough for me on any day, through any season, and in any situation. He is not only my Father, He is now my Mother. He is my Husband, my Best Friend, my Everything. My identity comes not from being someone's child or mother or wife or friend. My identity is not related to my hometown, my career, my possessions, or even the gifts He has given. My identity comes from Christ alone. Everything else will pass away . . . . all else will be shaken, burned up,  vaporized in an instant.  He alone is my Life.

Today was a very good day . . . .

"Whom have I in heaven but You? 
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail, 
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalms 73:25, 26 NASB

"For you have died 
and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, 
then you also will be revealed with Him in glory."
Colossians 3:3, 4