Monday, October 17, 2011

A Gathering of Love

A bonfire, rice and peas, memories and laughter, and front yard football (for those under 40)--there was no better way to celebrate this son's fifteenth birthday than with family.

Family gathered to usher this boy-man through another rite of passage, another step closer to leaving the nest. 

I watch faces as memories unfold, childhoods from long past pulled to the forefront, revisted, remembered, relinquished.   Memories voiced bring healing to hurts and allow hearts to open.  This younger set listen, learning about their mamas'and daddy's roots, realizing now why they are the way they are.

I watch as laughter broadens faces, lights eyes, and makes new memories.  These memories belong to the young ones, making them who they will become, filling hearts and minds for those bonfires yet to come.

Four generations gather, the eldest--my parents quickly approaching seventy, the youngest--their not-quite-two-year-old great-grandson.  Love has come full circle.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Watch for God

I wanted to curl up in bed and hide beneath the covers.  I hate conflict.  I hate confrontation. 

Instead, I forced myself to rise, shower and dress, and head to work, even as the raincloud hovered darkly overhead.  My foul mood followed me into my third grade classroom.

"Please sit down and complete your morning work," I said over and over, volume rising slightly each time it was repeated.  Frustrated and just longing to be left alone, I took refuge behind my desk.  Quickly a line formed, one student after another.  Rats!  Can't they manage for a minute while I take a breather?  Not today it seems.

"Yes, Collin.  What is it?" I ask with more than a hint of impatience in my voice.

"Look, Mrs. J.  My shirt and my bracelet have to do with God!" he exclaimed, blue eyes dancing.

I look.  The bracelet stops me in the middle of my ill mood.  I take a deep breath.  Tears fill my eyes and my heart quivers with the knowledge that something holy is happening here.

"Watch for God," it proclaims.

And I look up into the blue eyes that God has put before me, and I see God smiling, reminding me that He has it all in His hands, in His control. 

I release my bad mood and grab hold of Him.  I just saw God and I want to do what He is doing.  I smile.