| SOME THINGS YOU KEEP
Like good teeth.
They're good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime that to
throw them away would make the garbage man a thief. So you hang on
because something old is sometimes better than something new, and
what you know is often better than a stranger.
These are my thoughts. They make me sound old, old and tame
and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all
that's new and improved in their lives. New careers, new thighs, new
lips, new cars. The world is dizzy with trade-ins. I could keep track, but I
don't think I want to.
I grew up in the fifties with practical parents; a mother, God bless
her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it - and
still does. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying
new ones. They weren't poor, my parents, they were just satisfied. Their
marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely
a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt and Mom
in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, dishtowel in the other. It was
a time for fixing things - a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the
oven door, the hem in a dress. Things you keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that
re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste
meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more.
But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night in the chill
of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that
sometimes there isn't any "more." Sometimes what you care about most
gets all used up and goes away, never to return. So, while you have it,
it's best to love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken and heal it
when it's sick.
That's true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards
and dogs with bad hips and aging parents. You keep them because
they're worth it, because you're worth it.
Some things you keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a
classmate you grew up with, there are just some things that make life
important... people you know are special...and you KEEP them
| UNDER HIS WINGS
An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a
penetrating picture of God's wings.
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began
their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger
found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the
ground at the base of a tree.
Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird
with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from
under their dead mother's wings.
The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried
her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her
wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could
have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the
blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother
had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, that those
under the cover of her wings would live.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find
refuge." (Psalm 91:4.)
Being loved this much should make a difference in your life.
Remember the One who loves you and then be different because of it.