Saturday, January 2, 2010

"A time for everything..."

ECCLESIASTES 3:1-8
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


The past 24 hours for me, has been a real testimony to Solomon's famous words. Yesterday afternoon, we welcomed the arrival of my husband's sister's 3rd child - all 9 lbs 14 oz and 22 1/2" of him! Mom and baby are both doing great, so we are thrilled.

But, on a more somber note, we received word this morning that my grandmother had passed away. While she had been declining for a few years now, and we all knew the end was eminent, of course there is a sadness that comes when someone you love passes away.

I was never all that close to my grandmother - they lived on the East coast, us on the West, so I only saw her but every few years for a few days. But still, she was my grandmother. She was the woman who toiled tirelessly over every last detail, making the perfect bridesmaids' dresses for my wedding. She was the woman who made me the most wonderful party dress for my 6th birthday party. She was the woman who let my counsin and I spend almost an entire week turning her attic into a playroom, and probably spent a week putting it all back in order after we left. She was the woman who spent every afternoon for a week taking walks hunting for pinecones with my son when he was 3. She was the woman who rarely had a strong opinion, but when she did, would defend it with passion. She was the woman who made the world's most delicious muffins. She was the woman who loved her blue Cadillacs, but was gracious when my sister's bloody nose stained the bright white interior. The memories I have are few, but they are meaningful. She was my grandmother, and she will be missed.

But while I have a heavy heart, I look forward to the blessing my new little nephew will be. I look forward to hearing him laugh, and watching him run around with his siblings and cousins. I look forward to all the muddy boots and dirty overalls, and watching him take tractor rides with his dad. I look forward to walking down crowded streets with him dressed up for Halloween. I look forward to seeing the man he will someday become.

So yes, there really is a time for everything. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. I mourn, but yet, I rejoice. I am sad for the season that has passed, but joyful for the season to come. God's timing is funny sometimes, but it is perfect, even when we don't understand it. For me, I think this is His way of reminding me, and hopefully reminding all those who read this, of the bigger picture. Life is unpredictable. I know it sounds cliche, but we should never take our time with others for granted. We need to cherish the moments, and create the memories. We must never forget the past, but always be hopeful for the future. We must look at the bigger picture, that for every sorrow, there is also something joyous. Even in our darkest hours, there is hope. I know, at least for me, these are easy words to hear, but harder to apply. May we all cherish the people around us, care for them, and uphold them in love and grace. That, to me, is the bigger picture.

Written in memory of my grandmother, Ruth Terry, and in celebration of my new nephew

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