Monday, November 24, 2008

Profile in Courage

I discovered the meaning of courage the other day. It existed in an exceptional family as they buried their wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter. Suffice it to say that Cindy, who went to be with the Lord, is an exceptional person herself. She acted upon the grace bestowed on her in life and increased it hundredfold. She is the epitome of the servant of Christ. She suffered as Jesus suffered, no greater honor than this. And she bore it with utmost courage and faith and bequeathed it to not only her husband and children but all who ever met her here on earth.

I had the privilege to be her sister in law. And for all the 14 months of illness the outpouring of love and faith cannot be measured. And now she has graduated and been given greater responsibilities. She doubled her talents and as the parable says she is sharing in her master's joy. But her next task is to pray for us from the seat of the throne of God. And I believe she takes that task very seriously. Cindy never shirked, she was always 110 percent in earthly life, she will now give her all to pray for us and the hurdles we face every day. Cindy didn't want to leave and fought so very bravely to stay. But in the end she submitted to Our Lord's perfect will.

It is incomprehensible - the will of God. It is heartbreaking - the will of God. It is everything but despair and Cindy taught that to all of us. We do have perfect peace whose heart is stayed on Thee!

Congraulations Cindy - you've made it! Although I miss you already, I sense so clearly your elation, your peace, your energy as you meet the Beloved, and reach your hand back to us that we might follow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mailbox Saga

There is a lot of bittersweet stuff going on right now in Marygate life. I guess it is time to sorta lighten it up by telling the "mailbox saga". Three years ago when we moved here, we proudly put out our Rubbermaid mailbox (personally I thought it ugly but that is another story). Within the first week it was annihilated. Leo glued it back together whereupon in the ensuing rest of the year it repeatedly felt the blows of the neighborhood hoodlums.

One day, after many fixin's, our neighbor told us that he spied our mailbox about a mile down the road. The boys finally figured out it just pulled out of the ground so they gleefully carried it with them.

So, then Leo decided to get the strongest mailbox we could legally get. (You know where this is headed don't ya?) It was so heavy I had trouble carrying it anywhere. The post was cast aluminum steel, the box welded to it and the whole sunk in three feet of concrete. We were so proud of that mailbox. I can't think why I didn't take a photo of it for posterity!

The first go the batboys had at it didn't yield a dent. So they unloaded as much shot at a short distance and blew all the numbers and paint off of it. Leo trudged down there and repainted it and put on new numbers. It looked just as good as when we first got it. It got a few blows in the coming months but we finally thought we'd beat them.

A month ago, we came out early one Sunday morning and found that they had taken a sledge hammer to it. So powerful were the blows or so dedicated I should say, they broke the weld and put deep dents all in the mailbox itself. It hung there forlornly in the October dawn.

SO after much counsel we decided to get a cheap mailbox and take it in every night. So for the last month Leo puts it out in the morning and picks it up when he gets home from work. This lasted for about a month.

Another Sunday morning and we walk out to find that they had used their truck to drive over the post, set in three feet of concrete mind you, until they broke it in half. Off to the store where we bought another post, this time six feet of treated 4x4 with a vinyl sleeve for looks. We dug the hole over four feet this time and prepared to pour in the concrete.

Then I had a brainy idea. Our neighbors had left some old horse drawn farm implements on our property. One was particularly heavy. Why not put the post in the middle of it? They would do heavy damage to any truck that might try to run over it.

It took ten years off my life to watch Leo maneuver the heavy, cumbersome mower onto the side of the road. But he did great job. As the mower settled we realized a tongue of metal made a perfect perch for the mailbox. So we dispense with the post. Now we are really country!

I only hope that the destruction stops. These particular boys ran over some other people's boxes and ended up doing significant damage to their truck. They were discovered so I hope that they can do something constructive with their lives! It is a shame when fun is so destructive of time and money.

I have put a picture of our mailbox b/c it is so funny!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Simple Joys

The sun is shining and the breeze is like velvet against the face. Bugs are down and it seems like the perfect fall weather. And I have a twelve hour old email from my son who is in Afghanistan and you can't imagine how beautiful that feels.

And it was great to walk around the back fields yielding to God's call to be with Him. And to know at least a little the utter beauty of Him who loves us. "You are higher than the heavens, the world could not contain you...but you dwell within our hearts. There is none like Him."

That is what astounds me....the wonder of Our Lord and his stooping to make sure we could know the Way to Him. I have been preparing a segment on Baptism and just delving into it made me realize how we are indelibly changed when that water puts to death our sin. I realized that whether I choose to follow Him or not, I am His. Please God that I will always be yours! May I cease to displease you in all I do or say or think. I refuse to be my lowest denominator. I refuse, especially on such a beautiful day, to believe that my faults are outside the realm of God's transforming power. I guess that is why he doesn't repair us - He transforms us completely so that we become who He always meant us to be!

Thank you Lord that we have only moments with which to build our lives. The burden of the past and future is too hard to bear. So in Your mercy you parse it out so that our steps may be sure. I will trust in You.