Thursday, September 15

I have just been thinking ...

These last few days I have not blogged.  I have worked a few shifts, including an out of town one.  On top of that I have been battling a big-time cold which has made me consume far too many cold meds!
The weather has been much colder this week - a rather rude awakening to those of us who have been basking in above normal temps all summer (here in Manitoba).  It feels like I have been in thinking mode lately or perhaps God has just raised my level of awareness many more notches.  I should journal all this down but instead I will journal it in my blog.  Perhaps you have wondered about some of this too.

I watched an older man pushing his shopping cart across Logan Avenue.   He was heading into the wind, and his body was leaning into the cart as he pushed it.  The thing that struck me was that he was not dressed for the change of weather.  He had short sleeves on.  I wished that I hadn't cleaned stuff out of the trunk - because I would have grabbed a jacket of Alvin's and given it to him.  My heart hurt.  I have close friends/family who have spent more than one night on the street.  I just can not imagine!

I watched the news with Alvin the other day - and saw starving children.  Their big eyes looking out.  Their extended tummies and anorexic bodies.  They are literally starving to death.  Starving.  I look at the mothers and can not imagine their thoughts.  Every parent wants to provide for their child.  We can.  In fact, we often could be found guilty of spoiling our kids.  I watched but inside, I felt sick.  They need our help.  The government is multiplying the money given toward this need.  And here I am, trying to lose weight because in my lifetime, I have over-indulged.  To have children starving and dying in your arms ~ to have them look up in my face and not be able to give them what they desperately need to live ... I can not imagine.  O Lord, have mercy.

I talked with someone - a young adult in their late teens - who had recently taken an Aids test.  My heart broke.  When I verbalized this, the response to me from a peer was "well Joy, that is the reality of high-schoolers ~ they are having sex."  Yes, I know that this is a reality.  But my heart still broke at the fact that this young man, with so much ahead of him, has already had to face the possibility of aids.  O Lord, protect my grandchildren, and help them to keep pure until marriage.  Personally I know that is hard, but I also know it is absolutely possible.

I watched a dad and his son the other day.  Both dressed in orange t-shirts.  The little guy was about 3.  I watched their interaction.  A couple days later I laughed at the antics of our little grandson Ev.  I watched as he danced, as he wrestled with his dad, as he hugged his mommy ... as he blew us all kisses as his mom and dad took him for his bedtime routine.  Watching three year olds laugh and play, make me realize how our grandson Jay would have played with his younger brother Everett.  While other little three year olds make me smile ... it also makes me miss our little one so much.  We will always miss him.  The same day we visited with our grandson, I was also aware that there was another mom and dad not too far away that were missing their little guy who is also in heaven.  There are times when I still ask God "why?"

I sat with a good friend today and chatted over coffee (actually here in the same place as I am now sitting and writing.)  We talk about some of the things in life that are just plain hard.  We talk about family.  We talk about jobs.  We talk about depression.  Lord, Life is so hard sometimes - and emotionally we are often very weak.  But you are strong.  O Lord, give us strength and healing.

I watched many of the 9-11 stories on Sunday.  I remembered where I was the day that I first heard the news.  We all remember.  I watched people weep as they listened.  I watched people as they did pencil rubbing over their loved ones names.  I marvelled at the bravery of the firefighters (this is especially close to my heart with my husband and son both in the same career of firefighting).  I wondered what people thought as they ran with the huge cloud of debris and dust following them.  And I realized that watching all of this made me feel like it had just happened again, even though it hadn't.  I listened to the man who was then the mayor, as he addressed the people in the service and read Scripture.  The same scripture that I have heard before.  The same Scripture that is often read at funerals.  The same scripture that we can likely all recite, and that a song is even written after.  You know it ... "to everything there is a time ..."

I will end my thoughts, my ramblings with this scripture, the one Rudy Galiano read, the one subtitled "A Time for Everything"  Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, New Living Translation

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

what does the worker gain from his toil? 
i have seen the burden God has laid on men.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
he has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God.
I know that everything God does will endure forever, nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.  God does it so that men will revere him.
Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.

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