Monday, May 31, 2010

Today I have been thinking about words. The dictionary is full of them and what they mean. Yet, all by themselves they are simply words and the meanings are just more words too. You can string many of them together with little effect. Or you put a few words together and make a great impact!
Sunday was a day of words for me. It began with me catching a ferry in Bridgeport to Long Island. It was full, full of people and noise. The boat itself makes all kinds of interesting sounds. There were the sounds of chains and ramps being pulled in and up to ready for departure, the creaking of the vessel, the PA system blaring some sort of directions and the clanging of the door, as people went in and out, which they did regularly!
Above and among all these sounds were the many voices of the ferry's passengers. Snippets of face-to-face conversations, of phone conversations, of questions called across the aisle, of parents correcting their children and on and on and on they swirled. There was one conversation that made me smile. A dad, mom and their three children sitting at the table behind me were playing a game. As they played, they talked. It was a conversation that did a hop, skip and jump from subject to subject. Some of the topics were silly, some more serious. Throw in some squabbling and you get the picture. Through all of it both parents spoke with respect and love and did not make light of whatever thoughts surfaced. This family enjoyed being together and were comfortable to be themselves. They used words to strengthen their bond and built into one another.
Leaving the boat at the dock I proceeded to one of my sister's homes to spend my day with all three of my sisters and some of their extended family with a few friends thrown in for good measure. Some individuals I hadn't seen in years, others I never met before. There was no lack of words to be sure!
I usually enjoy chatting with different people. At this point, however, I am finding it a little trying. No matter where I am everyone, one by one, wants to know how Ray is doing. I truly appreciate the concern, but it does grow wearisome having to rehash and repeat over and over.
After a while words become a burden.
People are well-meaning. They often truly care. Some just feel obligated to say something.
"You are in my thoughts." What does that mean?
"Hang in there." Any suggestions as to what I should be hanging by?
On and on.
Well, Papa reminded me that I am in His thoughts constantly. That has great meaning for me!
He also reminded me that whether I hang onto Him or not, He's got a strong grip on me! Ah, rest!
Jesus calls me to cast my burden on Him and invites me and all who are heavy laden to come to Him. It's all Yours, Precious Savior!
Here it is Monday and the words have quieted down, but not ceased.
This afternoon I went to visit Ray and found him parked in front of the nurses' station. Whenever a patient is in their wheelchair and has no one visiting, they get to hang out with the nurses. My husband greeted me with a big smile and whispered, "I thought I was abandoned!" He said it with a smile and there was no accusation behind the words.
We spent some time in the garden together and I filled him in on the latest happenings, including the Long Island trip. He enjoyed the update of every individual.
I also told him of all the blessings we continue to experience. This morning a friend's husband came over and power washed our house!
Ray's response? "God is so good!" Now those are words with weight!
When he speaks, he coughs, but he had something to say and with much effort got enough words out for me to understand their meaning. My dear husband said that he had sat and looked around and realized he could be worse off. He also said he had reflected on what he could do to change what happened to him. He realized that the answer is: nothing. Ray said he is simply turning it all over to God. He is letting go and letting God.
My husband is resting in our great and mighty God! Now the words he spoke are words of impact! First on his own heart and mind and certainly on mine also. Our sons too find joy and peace in knowing that their father is looking to and resting in God. Everyone of you dear ones, who are lifting Ray and our family before the throne can take joy in this too. Isn't amazing how Papa is answering our prayers to Him?
Oh, Ray had something else to say to me. He loves me!! What sweet words! Words I hadn't heard in almost seven weeks! Lovely, precious words!
Opening the Word this morning it occurred to me that this book is filled with words of impact. No words strung together to no avail, but words that are "living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
I was reading Hebrews 12 and the words "Consider Him" struck me. As we consider, reflect upon, mediate on who this Jesus is and what He has done for us, how can we be other than amazed? Amazed by Him and His love. Amazed that He has called us into relationship. Amazed that we can come before the Throne of God and entrust all our concerns to Him.
Keep trusting!!

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