Friday, March 07, 2008

Thanks, Kate

Sometimes the news comes in waves of sadness and tragedy.

Just this week, I have been praying for a family whose father/husband died, and another whose wife/mother died. There are now young, young children having to navigate the confusing path of grieving for the loss of a parent.

I have been reminded to pray for a dear woman whose brother took his own life. For many reasons, this news struck terror to her motherly heart.

Another family is in the hospital with a month-old, much-loved little girl.

Others are battling less-threatening illness, discouragement, marital strife or financial aches and pains.

Some of my favorite young friends are dealing with big questions, few answers and questioning their value in this great big world.

Homeschoolers in California have been put on alert because of a court ruling that might change the legality of our schooling choice. At this point, I am not worried, but I agree that some grassroots communication with the Powers That Be will be important in setting things right again. I see Time, Energy, and possibly Money being sent to this worthy cause -- and all three things appear to be in short supply.

So today I walked across the back patio to deliver the mail to my mother. As I stepped onto the path to her doorway, I was greeted by a circle of daffodils in her yard. I always find daffodils to be cheerful companions, but these bring a particularly deep joy. They were planted at least nine years ago by my friend Kate, who at that time lived in the flat where my mother now resides. Back then, the daffodils were a ring of yellow under a clothesline. On many mornings, we could wave across the yard as we hung our wash or chased toddlers. It seems a lifetime ago, and it was certainly a lifetime of lessons ago.

You see, I was a crotchety land-lady back then, not someone I am proud to remember; Kate has forgiven me, stood by and loved me from then until now. She makes me laugh, makes me think, and helps me grow. She has shown me, through her generous approach to daily life, what love looks like. Her forgiveness has changed me for the better, and her friendship is a joy.

So, when I am hit with tragic news after tragic news, it is a comfort to see these flowers faithfully returning with the warm weather. They remind me of Kate's faith, strengthening my trust in God when I have more questions than answers.

Thanks, friend.

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