I walked the family compound this morning. I’m the only one here, yet life surges all around me. As I sit in the shade I am amused at the crazy rooster in the distance that seems to have no real understanding of his life’s purpose. He’s cockadoodling for all he’s worth as the sun reaches its highest position of the day. I am not certain if he’s a late riser or simply enjoys the cockling sounds of his throat.
It is an amazing stability in life, that all things have a purpose and a rhythm. As our family makes the hushed-tone phonecalls to each other, as one of our members is easing her way into heaven, the birds continue to gather food, the bugs flit from stalk to stalk, buzzing loudly past my ear as they commute. The trees are holding their positions firmly this morning as the wind tries to seduce them with the dance of the early morning breeze. Trees know their positions, however, like the soldiers at Windsor’s Palace. They know they must stand strong; that people are relying on their stoic rootedness.
When family and friends are here on the compound, so many noises are taken for granted, trumped by the sounds of people talking loudly and telling jokes as well as the triumphant splash of another thrill-seeker sinking into the murkiness of the lake’s cool waters. Yet on my walk this morning, the gravel seemed unusually loud, echoing the many converging thoughts in my mind. Ideas and fears I’m not quite ready to lay out in the open just yet, to trample through like gravel, paving my path ahead.
The steep hill to the gates seem to mock my leg each time I stand at its base and look up. But with each continuous step, I am reminded of the strength and growth I have acquired since those early days in the hospital, leaning entirely into a walker for support. Making it to the top of the hill reinforces the unsinkable will of the human spirit and our ever-present need for strength-training our lives.
Thank you, Lord, for the top of the hill. Grandma Shirley is trying to maneuver the slippery gravel at the moment. She knows her mountaintop prize. Her 91 years of living and loving and giving are telling her spirit it’s time to go home. It’s time to go meet her Heavenly Father.
I know you will welcome her lovingly; gingerly offering her your arm to lean into. I hope you’ll give her a minute to retouch her lipstick, blotting it with a Kleenex, before meeting the rest of the gang.
Grandma Shirley has served you to the best of her ability. She has loved six strong children into adulthood and watched her numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren develop into their own independent lives. Her face was happy recently when she said to me, “All my children are Christians. They’re not all Catholic, but that’s okay too.”
She’s learned the magnitude of an authentic relationship with Christ. And in that, she truly rests.
P.S. Please have Martha check on Heaven’s fine china set. I’m sure she’ll want to have a piece of cake and a small glass of exquisite wine as well.
Take care of her, Lord. The rest of us will be along shortly…