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Memories of Moments

What
a joy to be with three of our children this last weekend!  Although we
missed our oldest son, we enjoyed the laughter moment by moment! The
anticipation of this time created a sense of the joy of memories when our
children were young.
Now
the childhood memories are examined by our children in their middle years,
tempered with the experiences of growing through many life experiences.
 How very special to see our second and third sons hug their sister with
the tenderness that lurked just below the teasing of childhood.  As I sat
by Ed, he touched me, and said, “Isn’t this enjoyable?”  We let the joy of
the moment swirl around us, carried by the words and laughter.
The
deference that all the children and their spouses gave their father as he
suffers from loss of short-term memory gave me a sense of joy and appreciation
for each one.  Love in a family erases rancor and criticism.  Love in a family provides a shield of
protection for the heart.  Love in a
family kisses the hurts of life away.
Our
children gathered around us a year ago to help us move, we were enveloped in a
blessed time of caring that was tinged with golden sparks of joy.
This
weekend Paul reminisced about the tiny kittens that they brought into the house
when Mom wasn’t home, and put on the piano keys to watch their reaction.  The time when the wind in southwest Kansas
blew at a speed of 40 mph and the boys climbed on the roof of the two story
house to put up the ham radio antenna except for Dan who steadied the guy wires
down below.  One Halloween evening, Paul
and Dan knelt at the back door and knocked, saying, “Trick or Treat!” Or the
time Anna tried to retrieve the baby bunny from the house, and pulled off the
tail, and ran screaming to her room.  Her
big brother Paul ran after her and comforted her, saying, “I think the tail
will grow back.”  (I just learned that
story.)
Dan,
preparing to leave to take his ham radio test, and when asked if he was
excited, poured the glass of water he was drinking on the floor instead of the
sink, and answered, “No!”  Or when
Brownie, the mongrel pet dog brought a dead rabbit to the kitchen window while
we were having breakfast.  Or the time I
realized that our four children were not destined to be a performing vocal
group one Sunday, as they sang, “Mansion on the Hilltop”. One by one their
singing turned to crying and left their Dad and me singing a duet. 
The
evening meal together was a joyous time when we caught up on the day’s
activities.  One evening during our
laughter, our teenaged boys began passing the jug of milk whispering to each
other.  The whispers and giggles grew in
volume, until I heard, “Don’t drink it, it is spoiled!” (A la Spanky in “Our
Gang”).  Paul’s friend came over for
lunch (we called it dinner) after church and Steve was perplexed as the boys
called out a number and laughed uproariously. 
Then they laughed again at the expression on his face.  Our sons had conspired to save time by
numbering the jokes and then quickly get to the laughter.
Does
this sense of joy in our family end with this life?  No, for each of us had heard the message of
the four words that changed our lives –
  Creation (Genesis 1:27 – So
God created man in his
own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
),

  The Fall (Romans 5:12 – Therefore,
just as sin came into the world through
one man, and death through sin,
and so death spread to all men because all sinned.
)
  Redemption (John 3:16 – “For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes
in him should not perish but have eternal life.
)
  Restoration.  I Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the
air, and so we will always be with the Lord
.”
Edith
Schaeffer penned a book, ˆWhat is a
Family
”, that describes a family as a museum of memories, an indelible
education for life, a shelter in the time of storm and the birthplace of
creativity.  To me a family is a unit of
ever-changing, mobile of loving interaction.
The
phrase, Elasticity of Love, describes
the thrill of each added child, and their choices of mates, then twelve
grandchildren and their additions of spouses and seven grandchildren, and
counting.  The numbers of diapers
changed, meals made, the countless cleaning of houses or days worked cannot
begin be measured, when a son asks, “Are you OK?”  Or a grandchild writes a message on
facebook.  Then I find a quote that says
what the bottom line of family is:
 “God
will not judge us according to how much we endured, but how much we loved
.”
Richard Wurmbrand
Where
do I find the how of love?  In these
three verses I find God’s way to love and create a family of love.
“Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t
boast, brag, or strut about. There’s
no arrogance in love;   it’s never rude, crude, or
indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally
wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight!
 
Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it
trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.”
 

I
Corinthians 13:4-7   

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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