Monday, November 15, 2010


While drifting off to sleep last night thoughts came and went without much notice.  That is until one arrived and decided to settle in for a little while.  I do believe it was something from Papa and as it and I visited I became certain that it was the next entry for this blog.

Twenty-three years ago this past August Ray and I, along with three sons, plus the beginnings of our Tim, (He was born the following May) moved to Connecticut.  The neighbors next door were very friendly and welcoming, so it wasn't long before we were sharing tea in each other's home.
The family was made up of a couple with one son, who was elementary age.
Yes, there was three of them, however, we rarely saw the father.  You see he had Parkinson's and that really made his wife angry.  Of course, we didn't know any of this right away.
The man's nickname was "Shine."  The name came from how bright a smile he had and what a very friendly sort he was. 
Could have fooled us.
Until he happen to venture outside a few times while his wife was out doing errands! 
The poor man was berated by his wife all day long.  We could hear her screaming at him.  When anyone came to visit, she would send him to another room, because "he wouldn't understand anyway."
He had a disease, for heavens sake!  One way the disease manifested itself in Shine was by taking away his ability to make any facial expressions.  He kept his head down, but when you addressed him he would slowly look up and his eyes expressed what his face failed to.  Of course, he understood and loved to be with people and take in all that was said.  Unfortunately, he didn't get much opportunity to do so.
One of the joys for me was that I had opportunity to speak to him of Jesus and before he died Shine had begun a relationship with his Savior!

Why did I share this story?  Well, because of what I believe Papa helped me understand about Shine's wife.  You see, Shine had been a strong, lively man until the disease took over.  His wife missed that man; she was angry that he had been taken from her.  Now she had to handle everything on her own.  Their son barely remembered what his father had been like before becoming ill.  All of this weighed heavily upon her and she had no where to take these burdens.

I miss my strong, lively husband.  Much weighs heavily upon me, at times.  The difference is that I have somewhere to take all the burdens.  Not just somewhere, but to Someone!

Today was another opportunity to bring a burden or two to Him.

Last Wednesday Ray lost his wallet.  We didn't really worry because he only had gone to Gaylord and back, so we figured it would turn up.
It did...Sort of...
Turns out that someone must have stolen it while he was swimming in the pool at Gaylord.  Today a credit card company called to say that there had been some unusual activity on our card; all of it in Connecticut.
It makes me sad that people would do such a thing.

Okay, so now we know.  All I had to do was cancel whatever other cards were in that wallet.  Ah..that is where the fun began.
I had no idea what was in Ray's wallet.  I had no idea what credit cards he had.  He had a very creative way of handling things.  Yes, I called it creative financing.  The women at our credit union called it "Ray's flim-flam."  He didn't do anything wrong, but his way of accounting and keeping track of information did not follow a logical sequence at all.
Hopefully, after searching files and making numerous phone calls, I think it is all straightened out.

I had a brief time of being mad at my "previous" husband...the old Ray.  Why did he have to do things this way??  I use to tell him that if he went first I was going to donate his brain to science and see if they could figure it out!  

Last night I had watched him get out of bed on his own, which I encourage him to do, and walk across the room very slowly.. with his left arm just hanging as he moved.  He looked so weak and broken; so much less than he use to be.
Is that true?  Is he less?  No!  He is still as valuable as ever.
I am confident that our God has a good plan.
Today as I reflected on the latest challenge I shook my head.  Wasn't his accident enough?  When does it come to an end?
A conviction surfaced and grew stronger.  There is a purpose to all of this, down to every single detail.  I will trust Him.
I wouldn't mind receiving the nickname "Shine" because Jesus' smile shines through me.  So I will not only hang in there, but I will hang onto the One who is faithful and all-knowing!

I want to close with two thoughts from my time with Papa this morning. 
"Spending time in His Word and in His Presence is getting a transfusion of heavenly culture."  (A combo of David Jeremiah's words and mine.)
"God does not do the proclaiming in nature, nature does."  (thank you, Brennan Manning)
Psalm nineteen says, "The Heavens declare the glory of God." 
How does nature proclaim Him?  By its beauty, power and intricacies.  Every detail of life reflects Him, if we but watch and listen!
I want to watch and listen for such proclamations and join in.  Can I do less?

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