You just never know where a day’s journey will lead. Woke up with a praise song drifting around the corners of my mind. Listened to the rain splatter against the car windows as I drove to a local herb show in a nearby church basement. Didn’t buy much (which is a very good thing, seeing as payday is a week away). I was hoping they would have some hard-to-find treasures amid the usual, but it was pretty traditional fare. However, I did have fun losing myself in the smells of each plant and the overall presence of – albeit – temporary garden for a few minutes. And then – I wondered – what does it smell like after an earthquake?
Later, I happened upon a new consignment shop. Any store named for my childhood “thinking” tree (Willow Tree Consignment & Gifts) has to be investigated, so I stopped. I found many treasures but three that really spoke to me…a chair for my desk, a carved, faded vase and an old clay crock. Useful things of days gone by – treasures that hold stories I’ll never know but can feel as I touch them – treasures that have survived for a few years on this chaotic sphere that we call home. And then – I wondered – how many old things remained to tell their stories in Nepal?
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall…” 1 Pt 1:24
It is becoming harder and harder to watch the news, and even when I don’t watch, it manages to sneak up behind me and shake my world a little more. I think of the societies under attack – whether by terrorists or the terrors of nature – societies are suffering. Mothers, fathers, children, infants, elders, grandparents, families, strangers, visitors, missionaries, friends, enemies…none of those terms mean much in the face of tragedy. But Christ is much braver than I. He and His angels are there….were there…the entire time. Walking through the rubble… cradling the orphaned and hurt…escorting the 1000+ souls to their new homes…comforting the fearful. And, it is then I remembered…
“…the WORD of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Pt 1:25
The WORD came for times like these. The WORD became flesh for times such as these. The WORD suffered for times like these. The old words of a much older praise song rose to my the forefront of my mind as I was writing tonight. Its message just as true today as it was in the 1700’s. Solace for scared societies…hope for harried households…Grace for the gardeners who have lost sight of how to care for the garden.
“Our God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home:”
With each word I write, the verses seem to gain strength. It is no longer just the voice in my head, but that of an unseen choir members and parishioners – the orchestras – the conductors and ministers of those who sang this song centuries before I was born and will continue to sing it when I finally get to join them.
“A thousand ages in your sight
are like an evening gone,
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.”
For Nepal I pray, for Israel, for Coptic Christians, for the homeless, for veterans spit upon on a college campus, for those fighting insideous diseases, for those having fun on their prom night, for those that are drawing their first breaths upon this muddy ball, for those who do not see anything but darkness, for those who think You do not exist, for all Your children – in the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus – I pray – I sing – I whisper for found treasures buried in the rubble.