It’s not been a quiet week. On Sunday Lily graduated from Brown. Monday we gathered with friends and family for a Memorial Day cookout at Kris and Mike Reid’s. Yesterday family flew back to California. While they flew home and Lily resumed packing up her college years, I stripped beds and did laundry. Then flopped into the recliner and thought about Jud. It would’ve been our 59th wedding anniversay. May 31, 1963. Memorial times matter. Not just honoring those who died in wars but remembering those who are gone but marked more than time on this earth. And, sometimes pausing to honor major moments today.
Which is why Saturday night, after the Baccalaureate service, we gathered at a friend’s house in Providence for dinner and toasts to Lily. Poco started by raising her water glass and sharing a memory from last Christmas. “I really liked when Lily and I read together.” Together. That’s the gift and why we try to choose experiences more than stuff. I remember Poco curled up on the sofa with Lily while they read aloud. And laughed. Simple gifts, bridging oldest and youngest granddaughters.
As one who loves stories, I like the Bible story in Joshua 4. Moses, their great leader is dead, and Joshua’s job is to lead the Israelites into the promised land. To do this, they must cross the Jordan river. Years before, Moses led them through the Red Sea. Now, Joshua has to faith the Jordan at flood stage. So while priests stand in the middle of the river with the Ark of the Covenant, the people pass through on a dry riverbed. God rolled up the Jordan like a liquid scroll. It reminds me of two songs, “Roll, Jordan roll.” And one I sometimes sing to myself, “God will make a way where there seems to be no way.”
While the crowd puzzled over dry sandals, Joshua sent one man from each of the twelve tribes back into the riverbed to each pick up one stone. Why? They were to pile them up as a memorial. Why? “So when your children see and ask, “Why or what are these, you’ll be able to tell them what God did. “(Joshua 4:6-7, NLT) Good idea, God. It’s easy to forget.
Well, tomorrow I turn 82 and next week Luke graduates from High School. So many story stones. Rock solid reminders of God’s faithfulness and of our times together. True stories, not revised versions to help us feel or look better. Including, the times when waters didn’t part, miracles happened for other people and God seemed to take a vow of silence. Something Heather asked Poco to consider doing the other night when she couldn’t find her verbal off-switch.
So, here’s to life, family and stories waiting to be told and heard. And cheers for the times we chose to forgive, laugh at outselves, be kind, instead of hurling some of those stones at each other.
Miracles in hindsight.
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