Recently, I had an epiphany. I was driving home from Sunday morning church service, alone. With the exception of school hours, I am never alone. But the boys had acolyte training after the morning service, and I was free until 1:30, the appointed pickup time. Driving down Kemp Boulevard, my car headed south towards the Howell Four Sixes "ranch," I realized how very quiet the car was. Now Sundays are difficult, because I'm still not used to sitting by myself. Boys head off mid-service to children's worship, and Mark would sit closer to me. I loved it, just the two of us.
Since his death, A.J, Ben, and I have become a close-knit threesome family unit. We are there for each other, a true team. Shortly after Mark's death, I told folks the boys would be my saving grace. But I never truly felt how much they were until that Sunday, as I was driving home alone. IF I didn't have them, driving home would be that way. Everytime. No laughter, no whining or teasing, no singing along with the radio. No deep discussions about life, about what we learned at church, no lunch suggestions. I would be ALONE.
It gave me a renewed sense of thankfulness. Even though I hate it that my sons no longer have their daddy here, I am oh-so-glad they are here alongside me, walking this path so that I am not alone.
Not that any of us is ever truly "alone"....we always have the Holy Spirit with us. I not only feel Him, but also Mark, at various times throughout each and every day. I know that heaven would not be heaven for him if he could not see his precious boys.
So maybe there's a bit of truth in the joking phrase I tell people---that if I didn't have my boys, I'd be some crazy widow with about a dozen cats in the house....
Glad I won't have to find that out.
With all the recent focus on elections and various beliefs, questions about candidates' religious views, the way they were brought up, how they govern, how they parent, etc. etc.....I have pretty much remained silent, except for expressing my personal opinion to a few close friends (who, by the way, don't give a rat's behind as to what political persuasion I lean toward). But reading my Message Bible this morning, I find something worth sharing, worth thinking about for us ALL:
Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for EVERYONE. That puts EVERYONE in the same boat.
He included EVERYONE in his death so that EVERYONE could also be included in his life,
a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look.
We looked at the Messiah that way once, and got it all wrong, as you know.
We certainly don't look at him that way anymore.
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.
The old life is gone, a new life burgeons!
All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.
2 Cor: 5:14-16 (the Msg)
We are commanded to give our fellow brothers and sisters the benefit of the doubt. Look on the inside, what's on the outside doesn't really matter. Skin color, nationality, gender, religious affiliation---all superficial and not important. Take the time to seek out the person God sees. You may be surprised that you have more in common with someone than you ever believed. We need to work on our earthly relationships if we're planning on being in heaven someday.
I certainly have a whole lot of work still to do. Glad we have a very patient Father.