“All of us are on a journey to a country we have never seen.”
It has been a busy morning. Read a couple of chapters of a new book, The Immortal Nicholas (love,love, love reading great Christmas books) Cleaned the hot tub. Packed things away a few more things for our move in January. Then I lifted an old journal out of the cabinet. A few pages of handwritten papers fell out on the bed. Papers put there for a day such as this.
I had dreamed about mom and dad a couple of days back and have been thinking of them off and on since then. Those memories tend to be my calm waters in this rolling seas of life. I sat down on the bed and picked up the pages. Several pages were on yellow, legal size, lined paper were autobiographical. This was pretty typical for mom. She filled up a lot of those legal pads in the years when her sight was deteriorating.
Today’s find were, mostly, recounting the highlights of her adult life. Two similar accounts, taking up 4 pages, front and back. However, there were a few differences that made the reading interesting. Needless to say, I was smiling as I skimmed through them. Another page was full of things that happened in 1994/95. I think it might have been her Christmas letter for the year. She always wrote those out in longhand to all her friends. No computer narrative for her. Another was a tribute she wrote for the Wachtel 50th year Memory Book.
But it was the sixth piece of paper that caught me and slowed my reading to a crawl. Written on white, lined paper – torn out of a spiral notebook – filled not with her beautiful cursive writing – but printed in all caps – arrows and editing marks throughout.
“We love thee, we adore thee, we magnify and laud thy perfect name, O LORD! In the dictionary: Invocation means appealing to your God for three things: help, inspiration and witness. WE NEED HELP!”
She didn’t label this one. There is no date on it. The caps, underlines and punctuation made me laugh out loud. I remember getting letters just like this when I was away on journeys of my own or in college. It was always when she was at her strongest and ready to pounce on the world when she wrote like this. It is her enduring testimony that she wrote for one reason or another – Loudonville Methodist Church – Eastern Star – some convention she attended or a trip she took where she shared her testimony.
A testimony that I watched her live every day of my life.
“We determine therefore that by faith a man is made righteous and not by the works of The Written Law.” Rm 3:28
Just like me, she had her struggles. She was in no way perfect any more than I am. She had loud, noisy fights with my father – told “dirty, racist” jokes to anyone she thought needed a laugh – loved wild parties that went on most of the night – beer, fuzzy navels and rum n’ cokes on a hot day or at night after a long day’s work. However, like Abraham, she went out of her way to find a way to be kind – like Martha – she may have been critical but always found a way to serve. Like Paul – she sought repentence in the quiet of the night before she slept.
“The BIBLE rings with song: In Genesis with Jubal with the harp and organ; Miriam shaking the timbrel; the trumpets heralding the solemn feasts. The choruses in Revelations are overwhelming in volume. Let us sing the humns of faith, joy and gladness with all the fevrvor God intended – My special song of witness has always been, “He Touched Me.”
She IS the voice in my head. She is the lullabye I hear before I sleep. Today – she is speaking loudly once again, and I am blessed beyond measure as I continue on my journey to a land I have never seen.