Friday, July 14, 2006

Letters from Cyberspace

I am thinking about this online journal stuff––blogs and all. It’s kind of nice to keep a record online that can be accessed any time one has internet hookup and time on their hands. There are creative uses for it. I know a lady who has cancer and writes every day. People can check in on her progress and what she’s learning about God and life whenever they want, but don’t have a daily e-mail update filling their in-box. Another young man with cancer posts updates on a friend’s website. And it’s always good to read what individuals are thinking and struggling with––particularly those who are vulnerably honest.

But will all this be still floating in cyberspace a hundred years from now? Members of our family are reading old letters between our grandparents and parents right now, written with penmanship that perhaps helps to express the personality of those writing. It’s something very special, like reaching out and touching their lives. Stepping inside the door of their souls. In a very real way the letters are an emblem of who we are as children and grandchildren––a window into our heritage.

What will future generations have left of their history? Will e-mail letters be around? They won’t show a tear smudge or words crossed out for better ones. It’s something to think about. I suppose I won’t be around 100 years from now, so why fret? Will the blogs or e-mails be shifted to heaven? Will we even care about the past then? Somehow I think history will always be around. And very much something to remember, celebrate, and, of course, learn lessons from. I guess I better get my pen out and start a letter.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Rocking Chair Grace

We roll down the windows and let a fresh breeze spill in as our car chugs up the winding roads into the mountains. The crisp clear air begs for us to breathe deeply as if to cleanse away the city pollution from our lungs. It’s time for lunch but we have yet to find a nook alongside the road to eat our sandwiches. I breathe a prayer, “Lord, help us to find a really special spot for our lunch.” After all, we had opted to go the cheap route, and not look for a cute little teashop along the road. Don’t we deserve a picnic to remember?

In less than a minute a road sign announces a rest/visitor center just up ahead. Wow, a quick answer. As we drive into a pristine park-like setting, we notice that all the shady picnic tables are of course occupied. We ride around the mountain-style building, boasting a porch on all sides. There on the back porch are two rocking chairs, quietly waiting for us, as if we’d booked ahead with reservations! We park nearby and sit down to rock our way through a simple lunch. Much too simple for the beauty we look out on. We are completely alone with a sea of day lilies, backed by a lawn as green as grass can be. One majestic mountain after another rises in the distance like waves billowing on the sea. A soft breeze blows as we rock and munch sandwiches and carrot sticks. And I ponder the quick answer to my silent prayer. Several people interrupt the quiet as they come out of a nearby door and with an “I-wish-I-had-thought-to-eat-lunch-here” inflection to their voices, congratulate us on our creative use of the rockers.

I wonder about this dining spot prepared for us. If I hadn’t prayed, would we still have seen the road sign and found the rockers? Was it a “God-thing” or just a coincidence? As I thank Him profusely from my heart, I assume it is of God, but why?

The answer comes from history. From experience I know God ordains my days, and has as long as I’ve known Him. Recorded history tells the rest of the story. Everything in life––even “coincidences”––works because of Him. And if that wasn’t true, and there was such a thing as “just happened,” I would still delight to give Him the glory for it. For us this day––amazing rocking chair grace!

"Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindness of God in your daily life." A. Maclaren

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Two friends get together for lunch today. College roommates 64 years ago. They both seem "young for their age," are recent widows, and have kept in touch through the years. A good project––keeping a friendship going so many years. Something of great value. What a fun visit they will have today!
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