My grandmother, Mastine, passed away last thursday. It came quickly, and without warning. She was 78, and had been married 58 years to Big D. The last time i saw her was Christmas. We got to her house late one night, and i hugged her neck, and went right to bed. The next morning, i woke up to her laugh. I walked downstairs, and she was sitting at the kitchen table with Dad and Big D. This was a familiar scene from my childhood. I remember walking down the stairs, and opening the door to see Mom, Dad, Mastine and Big D drinking coffee, conversing, and most of all, laughing. Mastine's laugh, as many mentioned at the visitation, was one of her defining qualities. Her laugh was amazing. It made you feel welcome, and invited you to join in. I cannot remember the particulars of what we talked about that morning, but i remember her laugh, and i remember that we sat and talked for what seemed like forever. We would talk for a while, and then someone would walk in sleepy-eyed. It is a sweet memory, and I thank God for the gift. How empty the kitchen seemed the morning I walked down those same stairs after her death. It is so strange to think that her spirit is somewhere so different. It makes me long to be with her, with Jesus; but then i think about my wife, about Kelly Davis Jr (I am trying to convince Misty on this name), and about how God is calling me to plant seeds for those who don't even know to seek, I realize the words of Paul, "To live is Christ, To Die is Gain". It scares me to think of loving Misty for 58 years, and to wake up one morning alone. But i realize, for those who lean on Christ, that he will never leave or forsake us, and that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ; neither life, nor death.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I took this picture last weekend off the back of a cruise ship on the way back from the Bahamas. It makes me think of the time in the creation story where there was just water, and God's spirit hovering over the deep. It seems so empty, but so beautiful; It was almost as if i was entruding on the quiet vastness of the sea and sky. I realized that this sunrise would still be beautiful even if my loud, obnoxious cruise ship wasn't cutting through it's horizon. I realized that God is not like me. He doesn't need for someone to see his art, to declare it beautiful. His view of himself does not rise and fall with criticism and praise. So I stood looking at this sunrise, and God did not ask "what do you think", but said something much quieter...something of his unfailing love that continues to cause the sun to rise and set; something of his desire for my joy, and something of his goodness.
I thought, "Mom would have enjoyed this sunset", but i knew what I really meant was that i would have enjoyed sharing it with her. I have to interpret God's meaning in the sunrise, i have to fight the schedule and the noise and the pursuit of happiness to try to see it for what it is; and i still can't fully; but she is engaged in a beauty that fulfills her purpose, and knows her completely.
"When i look on your heavens, and the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him" Ps. 8:3-4