Asking God For One Thing…

We sit on a bench at the lake. In peaceful silence, we sit. Hard to find words.

Her husband went to be with the Lord not even a year ago. He was too young and too wonderful. He was our matchmaker 18 years ago.

A work project teamed us up and the rest is history. He never let us forget how much we owed him. That joke never got old.

Years later, our daughters ended up in the same grade school. Playdates. Dinners. Party reunions.  You always knew there’d be laughter and silliness when he was around.

The world lost a good man!

And now his wife and I sit and share memories. We talk about the seeming randomness of life. About the twists and turns and highs and the very lows. We stare at the crisp, deep blue sky. We just stare up.

A flock of birds start flying back and forth in beautiful unison. All black. They’re choreographing a beautiful dance. They twist and turn. High and low they fly. We sit for a long while and take it in. And she shares about how sweet it is to fly with others…to share in the twists and turns…carried by their updrafts when it’s hard to fly alone.

And like two old ladies on a bench, in the midst of this wondrous sky dance, we drift into the past. And the past seems like the present when death takes the life of your best-friend. We remember the seasons of extravagant folly, and painful lack. Health and sickness. Extravagant travels and quiet days home. Near death defibrillator shocks that bring us back to life. The lack of peace in many seasons. And the world’s pull to more. More spending. More name brands. More bling. And the spinning. The absurd spinning. And the emptiness of it all. And we attest as King Solomon shared, “there is nothing new under the sun.”

We sit on a bench and contemplate life. In our 20’s life spun fast. We chased dreams. Never satisfied. We believed we knew life. We really thought we had it figured out. Yet deep down, never really  comfortable in our own skin. In our 30’s something clicked. Greater peace. And thank the Lord, we lightened up. In our 40’s we came into our own skin. Sweeter after the initial 4-0 shock!  And wisdom shed light on how much more there was to grow and learn. And now, in our 50’s, an inner peace. Untethered and free. Our greatest joy we both agree is Christ and our hope is for eternity.

The Kingdom becomes more palpable when you taste death.

And today the brevity of life makes God’s heart crystal clear, life is short, love well. The ultimate joy is not only the crescendo of it all, but the quiet moments staring into the sky. The times that inspire us to  pause, to witness dancing birds in the sky.

Suddenly, a white bird appears. Out of nowhere it joins in. We look at each other in wonder, and back up. It stands out and shines bright. It knows the dance. It swoons back and forth with the flock. And we treasure every second of this dance in the sky.

If we learn to pause long enough we’ll catch these glimpses of beauty.

We trail the conversation to the reality that without Jesus, we’d be lost. He joins us in the depth of our darkest dance. He joins His flock, and stays close…shining bright. And we thank the Lord for creating this s t i l l and q u i e t opportunity, or we’d have missed this party in the sky.

When the sensory stimuli of the world fades, after the chasing ceases, and striving weans, I ask for just ONE beautiful thing: to know the love of the Father…to sit at His feet, looking up and catching the glimpses of His beauty, and wonders of His grace. To live with him in his house my whole life long. To contemplate his beauty and study at his feet.