“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
Okay, I’m just going to shout it from the rooftops, “I miss the laughs and giggles of my grandkids and kids. I miss my back pew at church. I miss my life-long friends, and since it’s true confession time, I miss my favorite coffee shop and my sugar-free vanilla latte, yet most of all, oh yes most of all, I miss your smile.”
Those simple upturned lips that signal a moment of recognition, excitement, and perhaps a fleeting memory. Your name may be a mystery to me, but you’re still part of my world. We have passed in the aisles at the grocery store, the cleaners and perhaps even the pharmacy, but you’re no longer there. As hard as it is to believe, I only don my lovely mask and gloves and join the world every two weeks. We might have missed each other along the way. It’s as if the world has been turned upside down, and it has.
Yet here I am, with my life basically unchanged, sitting on the dock with my puppies gazing at the glorious sunset with a breaking heart. A breaking heart for lives that have been changed in ways I can never imagine. Breaking for families who now have empty chairs around their table. Breaking for the precious children of God who are living in homeless shelters or the street, hungry and falling farther and farther behind in school. Breaking for moms and dads who can no longer provide for their family because of lost jobs. Breaking for those of you who can only see your aging family members through a window.
But in the heartbreak, there’s a time of thankfulness. Thankful for the brave men and women on the front lines, keeping us healthy, fed and safe, our world clean, and our hearts and soul healed. As I sit in awe of the gift of the sunset, my heart is joining with those of you who are kneeling in prayer, thankful you have survived another day wrapped in the Holy’s arms.
This is a time when the similarities of one’s path vary more than ever. Some of your lives may be like mine and my western loving cowboy, whose only bump on the road is rationing toilet paper, or watching the same TV shows over and over, despite having a choice of more than 300 channels. (All I have to say about that is someone in my house is a fan of the western channel.)
But through these days of confusion and emptiness, your compassion for one another is seen through the lessons we’re teaching our children as they write words of thanks to visitors who make deliveries to our homes in chalk on their walkways, or signs posted on apartment windows. Families are gathering on social media celebrating special time that might have been missed because of those trite words, “We were just too busy.” Cards and letters are being sent snail mail to forgotten ones in our lives while many are pitching in financially to share their blessings. Through all of this despair my heart is reaching out to each of you, and I feel your never-ending grace. Grace we’ve learned to grant one another through our twinkling eyes as we honor one another by wearing a simple mask or standing 6 feet apart.
We all have our dark days, whether it’s the ones we are living now, the days that lurk in memories past, or in the times on the other side of a sunset that are yet to come. But the Lord is blessing us, His face is shining on us each day. His face is turned toward us each night, warming us with His glorious love. This is the serenity you feel when you gaze at a sunset, or perhaps as you close your eyes at the evening’s end and say, “Thank you for loving me Father.” I have peace knowing He will take care of you. And one day I’ll see your smile again, and man oh man, my heart will sing.
Ponder with Me:
1. Do you miss anything?
2. Have you had dark days? Close your eyes and sit with the Holy. Let His everlasting love wash over you.
3. Do you truly believe God will take care of you?
Let us pray together:
I love you Lord. My heart sings when I hear your name, your promises, and feel your grace.
I will never miss your smile, because it never fades away. You warm me with your spirit in the sunrises and sunsets. I am blessed to be your child.
Gazing at your love.