As I write this post to continue my story...the chapter title REALITY as it implies will be quite sobering. I know for many it is a festive time of the year...but all our days should be sober minded in respect to life itself.
I find it also this way TODAY, a reality in the trials of faith and life.
Yesterday, my husband and I attended the viewing of a young woman of age 45 who was killed this past Friday. She was thrown from a horse. Sudden death is always a shock. Even if you have strong faith, there is still that grasp of reality that death is sure to us all and can be without warning.
Ecclesiastes 8:8 says...there is no discharge in that war...
I also recently found out that another young woman of 48 years old that I am acquainted with passed away from a cancerous tumor on her brain....and yet another has been given a few months to live.
Are you ready? It is a very sobering time to ask oneself..am I?
I, myself, just had some medical test results that gave me great concern...and as I had started this story of my journey of HOPE..I indeed did find so much comfort in the remembrance of the graces bestowed in my life thus far. I could not deny God's care, nor his will in my life. I had peace within for whatever was to befall me. As I waited for a week for the results, my thoughts were continually on my life and how it has been lived.
I have a favorite song on a CD that I listen to by Bryn Riplinger each time I am in my car...powerful,touching words...
"For only one life twill soon be past...
and only what's done for Christ will ever last"
The message of the song grips your heart as you think of all that God wants to do with and for your life, if only you yield to his will.
After Job lost his family he says in Job chpt. 1:20-22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Can you say that you would do as Job? Still continue to worship and not charge God...nor question his will. As the song says..would you block him here and check him there...to see if it's what you would want for your life instead of his PERFECT plan and will.
In my own journey as a Christian I am so grateful for the knowledge of God's precious word. The very love letter from God himself, full of comfort, hope and lasting promises.
He says in the book of John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also...
and verse 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
My test results came back normal. Thank you, Lord.
Living in the village as an American, I still wanted to "belong" and "do as the SWISS do"...I hung my bed quilts out the window on the brisk cold winter mornings. As the Spring began to bloom so did Geraniums...everywhere! And, I wanted to have my window boxes blooming as well. Claudine helped me with the preparations and long keeping of my window boxes.
There...I was beginning to be one of them! The flowers in front of my kitchen window...Iris's were such a gorgeous color. The Swiss are so immersed in their flower and vegetable gardens that it is truly an art. Every row perfectly lined with out a trace of weeds. Yes, we even grew a small vegetable patch and my prize potato went to one of my neighbors. Claudine came over one day and showed me the proper way to pull up broccoli...the entire plant...so with that, I plucked up this huge and lovely green "bridal" bouquet and proceeded to walk and sing the wedding march down the planted row, to her laughter! It was a fun moment and I felt at "home".
Even with our visits to the hospital the sense of normality to our lives was beginning to take some shape. The two eldest girls went off to school, my husband to work and I was home taking care of baby Charlie the other two children along with the usual daily chores and an occasional visit from Claudine or her mother in law.
One day Claudine came over to give me very sad news. A young teenager in the village had died in an accident. The tractor he used to help his family on the farm had turned over on top of him while he was grading a hillside. She asked if I would come to the funeral. It would be good for me. It would show the village people my heart with them in their loss and my desire to be a part of their lives. I agreed to go.
The day of the funeral we walked over to the village church. Many villages have to share their church Pastor, this one lived in our village. I felt very awkward not knowing a lot of the people present nor the grieving family. Many gave reassuring smiles of their pleasure at my presence. As I sat in their midst, I thought about my own situation in life.
What if? I find myself in this same place with my son?
After the short service inside, everyone walked to the village cemetery. There all the village people stood in the street away from the grave site, allowing only the family this private moment. They then walked out to the street and stood still as the village people passed by nodding their heads with sympathy. There were no hugs. Just solemn silence with only the sounds of passing footsteps.
Claudine later took me to the cemetery to look at the grave site. All the graves belonged to people of this village. She began to tell me who some of them were. Many older people, yet one a baby and now one a teenager.
The village is always well kept. The streets swept by hand, the gardens immaculate and the cemetery plots groomed. They take care of their own.