A Keeper

The internet is filled with all kinds of wisdom – some good, some not so good. At a recent Session meeting, one of our elders shared the following devotional.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s with practical parents. A mother – God love her – who washed aluminum foil after she cooked it and then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it. My dad was a father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now. Dad in trousers, tee shirt, and a hat and Mom in a house dress – lawnmower in one hand and a dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. These were things we keep.

It was a way of life and sometimes it made me crazy. All the re-fixing, eating, renewing. I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there would always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night – in the warmth of the hospital room – I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t more.

Sometimes what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return. So, while we have it, it’s best we love it, and care for it, and fix it when it’s broken, and heal it when it is sick.

This is true for marriage…and old cars…and children with bad report cards…and dogs with bad hips…and aging parents…and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep, like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important – like people we know who are special. And so we keep them close. Good friends are like stars…you don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.

The devotion goes on with some challenges for how we live our lives. Those will be fodder for future posts. But for now, Scott’s devotional reminded me of the need to give thanks, to express love, and cherish the important relationships in my life.

I am thankful for my wife, my children, my grandchildren, siblings, my extended family. I am thankful for friends who have stuck by me through thick and in thin. I am thankful for the members of Laguna Niguel Presbyterian Church who love me, forgive me, extend grace to me and are patient with me. You are people who gently mold, shape, and heal me when I am sick. I am thankful beyond words.