Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sunday Afternoon Tea
There is a story there... a phrase I often think and rarely speak aloud. But when our friends visited recently, there was not time to sit down when they asked about the house on the road and I found myself saying this phrase out loud.
We knew exactly which house they were talking about even before they described it. Most people who take the road from the highway for the first time ask about it. For you see, set back a ways from the road is a Southern plantation style house straight out of Gone With the Wind.
There are no trees around it at all so it does stick out like the proverbial sore thumb... except it is an attractive house. But there is absolutely no landscaping at all, just the large house with pillars on a few acres of land cleared out of the forest. Not to mention you rarely see anyone there and then only an older woman on a riding mower or a workman doing repairs.
Every time I pass it I think... there is a story there. Who would build such a house on a country road?
There are stories everywhere...
When Stephanie was small, the three of us enjoyed spending the Saturday mornings of summer in Saugatuck, Michigan. We would usually have breakfast if we arrived early or stop by our favorite place that served beverages and baked goods for a snack... where I developed a deep attachment to chocolate filled croissants.
After tummies were full and the adults had sipped their share of coffee, we often would walk along the Boardwalk where the various boats were kept when they were not out on the Big Lake. Our favorites were the yachts and sailboats with names so interesting one knew there had to be A Story.
One of the boats carried the same name as my father-in-law and we enjoyed thinking of various scenarios in which Grandpa could have slipped away from his family duties to purchase a yacht and take to the waves. If you knew him, you would also understand why such stories would send us into fits of laughter. Sometimes stories are silly and made up.
Stories inspired by nature...
If you have read my little corner of the Blogosphere long enough, you will know how much I love nature. Which some may find amusing as I am not the camping out type of nature lover, I preferred Glamping long before there was a name to it. ;)
But nature tells me a story... His Story. Whether it is an old red barn set in a field of hay ready to harvest or the giant redwoods of California, His Story is being told. For you see, the barn reminds me of my roots and the redwoods when I made the decision to leave the corporate world.
It was while on a business trip in San Francisco that I stayed an extra day to hike through Muir Woods with one of my co-workers. She lived in the area and had told me if I wanted to see something special, it was Muir Woods. I heard God's voice in that woods, clearer than I had in a very long time.
His Story cannot be hidden in God's creation from those willing to see. There is a reason John Muir talked about the "Gospel of Nature". St. Paul reminds us in the first chapter of his letter to the Romans that Nature shows us the glory of God and His powerful Truth (my own paraphrase there).
The Story in people around you...
Have you passed a beggar on the street and wondered at his story? Was he once a husband and father who was much loved? Did he have a mother who prayed each night, wondering where her lost son was living now? Was it drugs or alcohol or the cruelties of war that brought him to this moment when your paths would meet? There is a story...
Was the elderly woman pushing the shopping cart holding all of her worldly goods someone's mother? She had definitely been a daughter at one time. Instead of living in the warmth of her living room surrounded by books and music and pictures of those she loves... why is she on the streets looking for somewhere to sleep safely for one night? There is a story...
We all are heartbroken when we hear of the massive killing sprees in the news but have you ever wondered what led a person to plan out a murder of school children or coworkers? Was there anyone in his life who had cared enough to pray each day for him to find the grace only Christ can give or had he rejected love along the way? There is a story...
Have you ever walked down a ramp after exiting a plane and made your way around a group of people anxiously awaiting the arrival of one they love? Quite often holding signs of Welcome Home? There is a story there...
The fascination of HisStory...
I love reading history, quite often it is truly a case of "truth is stranger than fiction". For instance, I cannot hear the story of George Washington galloping through a barrage of bullets (the battle which eventually started the French and Indian War), his coat covered with bullet holes and his horse shot out from under him... without getting goosebumps.
It was said that the event was "almost like Providence saving him for something special". It is a true story, you know. Backed up by of all people, the Native Americans who were there.
There are numerous stories from ancient history to WWII to the "race for the moon" to modern day 9/11 miracles which can make one shiver. If nothing else, reading the prophecies of the Word as they are being fulfilled thousands of years later really fascinates one who Believes.
For you see, if one truly does Believe we are living in His Story then we know how it ends. We understand the battle of good vs. evil. We don't have to wonder why evil exists, we believe His Story written through the ages.
Yes, I am one who believes it all began in a garden... and evil was conquered in another garden as the One who died for us and would live again sweated drops of blood before saying, "Not my will but Yours be done". I have often wondered if all Heaven held a collective breath at that moment.
Those who Believe understand that no matter what the world looks like today... the end of the story is glorious.
Picture: Victorian Painting: allposters.com