I heard the wind blowing outside and the pavement was wet when I glanced out the window of my home office this morning. As I prepared for my typical Sunday morning, I decided to do something untypical for me.
Drive, think, talk, pray.
Oh sure I do this all the time, but today I was paying extra special attention to my actions.
The radio was off.
Sundays are a transition day for me. Three out of Four Sundays each month you’ll find me in a favorite chair at the Firefly Coffee House on North Anthony shortly after they open at 8.
But it was only 7 when I pulled the car out of the garage this morning.
My mind had already been thinking about what I needed to do to wrap up loose ends from last week and I was looking ahead to the week ahead.
A reminder that I’m going to a baseball game Monday night get popping up on my phone as a reminder.
The first portion of my drive was to find an office where I am meeting a co-worker in about 24 hours. As I drove north then west on Dupont, I saw this image.
It was an image of storm clouds, but with an end in sight.
As we travel down this lifelong journey, we’re sure to encounter plenty of storms. In the midst of them, remember that there is an end, despite not being able to see it.
After scouting out the office for my Monday morning meeting, I traveled south and decided to visit the cemetery where my parents are buried.
I don’t visit very often because it’s not the place that holds any real memories for me. I live just a few miles from the house I grew up in with my parents and that’s where I’ll go if I want to provoke those memories.
When you don’t know anyone who is buried in a cemetery, it’s pretty easy to pass them without much thought. But several thoughts were coming and going this morning as I drove on the narrow lanes. First I thought of the contrast in memorials that are in this cemetery. There are lavish headstones that rise above the rest and there are simple ones that have just a name and two dates.
I was with my Mom back in 1998 when she was at this cemetery trying to pick an appropriate stone for the site that would be the final resting spot for her and my Dad. I recall her expressing that this isn’t right, her husband was lying in a hospice bed, still alive and this was not something she wanted to do. She did it anyway. The stone would also include her name and one date. Within a week my Dad passed away and the monument people added an end date behind the first date under my Dads name before it was placed as a marker of his grave.
My Mom bought one of the overpriced flower packages that the cemetery sells that keeps a seasonal arrangement at the grave year round. I’m not sure how often she drove out there on her own over the next 3 years, but I’m sure she did. When I visited I noticed that the grass seed over my Dads grave never came in very well even after a couple of conversations with the groundskeeping crew.
It was a surprise when 3 1/2 years later I was going through the burial of my Mom, as her death was unexpected, at least to us humans. Which stirred up another thought this morning. I know that I have reached and surpassed the half way point of my life unless I surpass 109 years on this earth. My kids on the other hand still have more years ahead of them, than they’ve already lived, we believe. They’re all flirting with 30 or they’ve stepped over that decade marker. Only God knows for sure the distance between the first date and last date.
One final thought as I was driving through the cemetery is why my Mom wanted a headstone for my Dad and not one of those plaques that lie flat and are flush with the ground. It was so she could visit anytime she wanted and not have to step out of her car to see her husbands grave in bad weather. Oh and now that they are both buried there, the grass is rich and full.
Speaking of weather, as I was leaving the cemetery, I noticed this:
I think I captured it a few seconds too late but what I noticed was in the midst of all those clouds that were still overhead, the sun was shining.
Not matter what storms we are experiencing, the sun has never left us, it’s still there bright as ever.
You can apply parallels to our relationship with God to this sun and storm story if you wish. I sure did.