A Time For Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
……….He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Sometimes we experience time in a way other than it’s passing…..other than the counting of days and hours, minutes and seconds. As Frederick Buechner puts it, “a time we mark not by its duration but by its content.” Instead of measuring it by the clock we measure it by what happened within the time. A good time. A difficult time. A time of celebration or a time of sorrow. And sometimes a most holy time.

The holiest moments happen at times and in places we least expect them. We don’t create them, can’t plan for them and if we’re not careful….we’ll miss them.

Like a few days ago in the hallway of a hospital, where, without meaning to, several showed up at the same time to see a man we love. To show him we care and to let him know we love him. We took turns going into his room to hold his hand. To see his face and let him see ours. Back in the hallway we catch up with those we don’t get to see often. We give hugs and share tears. And we pray.

Sometimes we don’t realize how significant that kind of time is until years later. Like conversations with a new friend at a new job.

I hope Lyle knew what his time meant to me. I worked with him for a year or so. I came into the job knowing little about the construction business, unsure of myself and wondering if I was going to make it. He was patient and kind as I learned. Lyle was easy to talk to and we often had good conversations about things he or I happened to be thinking about. He had profound thoughts on life and was as happy to share them as I was to listen. Lyle was an attentive listener and was the only person I worked with to know about my writing for a long time. He encouraged me to keep writing.

These are gifts…..these sacred moments. And they may not look like what you’d expect.  They come in a conversation. An unplanned gathering. A planned one too. During your quiet time or in the middle of a crowded restaurant. They happen at home, in the forest, on the mountain, at work, in a traffic jam, in a hospital, or in a stable. Holy moments are given and stay with us after the passing of days and years because they change us forever.

As we gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ let us remember and cherish that most holy moment and like the shepherds, “Let us go over……and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:15

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.    Luke 2:19

And like Mary, let us treasure these things and ponder them in our hearts.

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours for 2018.

 

Photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash

Love Felt

It was dark when I drove into the park. I thought I was alone until I saw a young man walking on the edge of the parking lot. He wasn’t dressed for exercise.

The backpack he carried looked heavy for his thin frame. I couldn’t see his face but I could tell he was anxious. He was walking around with no direction.

I got out of my car cautiously then thumbed through my Spotify stations and walked on the trail a short way while I readied my running app.

I was relieved when I saw the headlights of a small SUV turn into the park. Then I noticed the young man turn toward the vehicle and walk toward it quickly. The driver didn’t take the time to pull into a parking space. As soon as the vehicle stopped moving, she opened the door, jumped out of the driver’s seat and the two embraced.

I wanted to stop and stare. Was she a young woman? Were they lovers? Friends? Was she his mother or sister?

Instead of staring, I respected the sacredness of their moment and I started my run.

I don’t know how long the two had been separated. However long……was too long.

I know they were both happy to be reunited.

I hope they remember that blessed flash of time, that moment of love felt, when the hard work of loving continues.

Because it is work.

Relationships are the most hallowed work.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

In response to the Daily Post’s Fret