The way we measure out life in minutes,hours, days, years.
Taking time and using it wisely and well.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
I read that April was National Letter Writing Month, from Barb. This took me back into my love for snail mail and I accepted the 30 day letter writing challenge. 30 days to think about relationships, to mark the days and honor those put on the path of my life. It was a time to remember events that brought people – unique and wonderful people – into my time.
On the 15th of April, on FB, I read of the death of the Mother-in-Love of an old acquaintance. Over several months, Libby had briefly shared the illness, the frustration with medical care and finally, their decision to bring this lovely lady into their home until she passed into the arms of God. Now it was time to write sympathy, condolence, a time to acknowledge a life well lived and loved.
I met Libby when we were young. She spoke highly of this lady through the years we shared an office and on every occasion before and after she married into that family.
A time to be born, and a time to die… a time to plant… a time to heal… a time to build up…
Death is never an easy thing to face. Whether long or short, a life is a great presence and its passing is loss that can make us fragile while it seems to expand our hearts. Acknowledging the grace gift that is life is so important.
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;
I’ve mentioned that I’m reading Looking for Lovely. Annie Downs started her chapter, “Tragedy” with the text of Matthew 11:28-30 NIV, and eventually drew me into Ecclesiastes*. She speaks a truth I’m learning, that only in Christ Jesus, can I find rest in the weary and burden and tragedy of life. Only if I look to Him, choose to come to Him in the pain and suffering. And that is not my usual response, my first response.
Like me, you are probably not a stranger to pain and suffering. No one wants to live in pain, sadness, loneliness, rejection, shame, war, tearing down, ripping apart… I want to avoid it. Annie writes of this pain and tragedy and says, “I’m not sure I’ll find beauty in this. But the only way to truly see beauty, for my heart to grow in capacity and in ability to love and cherish, is through pain and heartache.”
Later, she continues, “I don’t know exactly how it works, I just know that the more I hang on and feel, the more I am able to feel; and each time more balm gets rubbed into the wounds of my soul.” She finishes the chapter with these words, ” But there is beauty in choosing to feel that pain, in calling hurt what it is, and not pretending everything is okay.”
The world is not comfortable with pain and often we are encouraged to ‘just get over it’, move, on, count your blessings. But the wise man said, there is a time to weep… a time to mourn… And somehow in the mourning, in the weeping, there is a balm that is rubbed into the wound.
May 1, 2016. Sunny. Changing to sheeting rain, creating impressionist art outside my window. Reducing seed heads to earth stars.
May 1, 2016, checking FB updates in the afternoon, I found get well prayers for Libby. These were followed all too quickly by posts of grief at her death. Shock is not really an adequate word to express my state that evening.
Many old relationships just die a natural death, but some go on, changed, but connecting us to our history, our lifetime scrapbooks. She was one who knew me “then”; who was part of bridal and baby showers. We went to each other’s weddings. For Libby and I, our lives unfolded in different places and ways and we rarely took the time to meet although we promised in every Christmas update — next year!
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose;
Looking for the lovely, the good reports, the praiseworthy things**, I continued to read the FB updates. I believe that the many seeds of goodness and love planted by this gracious woman will produce a harvest in the many lives she touched.
Dear Libby, you leave gaping spaces in the hearts of so many. You will not be forgotten; your legacy will endure. I’m so glad our lives touched.
*Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ** Philippians 4:8