So we begin. Here is the very first blog post. And it’s important. It’s personal. At the least, it’s a Big Deal because God has His hand in this day, and in this action I’ll tell you about. Like the quiet snow that just began to fall outside as I sat at my computer, I know what happened today will add up to something where I’ll experience yet again God’s good and faithful timing. As the woods here continue to become mostly white with a trace of light and gentle snow, a powdered sugar over a chocolate cake, something is changing. Something is being covered here, and it’s good.
Let me back up ten years and introduce you to this couple who would be considered young parents if I was their child. They’re no more than twenty-some years older than I am, maybe. Definitely hip parents, good people. I had just started fulltime ministry in Harford and, along with their good looking kids, I met them as lake people. Lake people visit in the summer and bring all that vacation pace and pleasure with them when they worship. I don’t know how, or when, we officially connected for the first time, but it was immediately a relationship we knew would be good, solid. I saw Dave and Denise in church only. We had no outside history, no known common interests except faith in God.
So, yes, I don’t know these two yet it feels like I do. I know. Weird. But good. Very good.
Each summer for a week or two or three, there they were, in the same area in the sanctuary. Then the kids stopped coming. They probably had college jobs and couldn’t get away. But Dave and Denise were there, seeing what we regulars missed in our every worship kind of way. Their expressions matched. They held light not only for God, but also for this historic church, and, more specifically, for its people. With thoughtfulness, kindness, love and light, Dave and Denise are two people who bless a lot, likely not knowing where (or how much) they do bless.
And then something happened. Dave got sick. Then Dave got really sick. He wrote me a few notes of encouragement in those times. He lifted the ministry up here in Harford, and he especially encouraged me as a pastor. Again, I never knew him well, not in the least, but in the words we exchanged, it didn’t seem to matter to either of us.
Sadly, Dave, this vital, fun guy who was probably at this point a new grandfather, died. To this day, the sorrow still echoes in my heart because like some couples out there, you could see the love Dave and Denise had for each other, yes, and it was beautiful.
From the church office, I have written Denise. Her loss is profound. It has been a long time since I’ve seen or heard from her, but I imagine her loss still teaches her. It may still trap her, too, especially on certain days. Love does that to spouses who lose their life partners too soon.
I, too, have had loss now, big loss. Profound loss. When you have it, you realize you see the world much more differently than before. Your eyes are much more open, and your heart is much more tender.
Yesterday, my accomplished web designer Joe and I put the touches on the website to make it not just operational but personal. More will come in the short months ahead to enhance it, but we’re officially up and running today, January 14, 2017.
And who was the first to buy JESUS CLONED from the site? Who did God put on my path again at just the right time?
I know this. God is not done with us. He is not giving up on us. He is not leaving us alone in our pain. Even though we can feel done with our repeated prayers from our deeply painful places, God is doing God things like building love and making reconnections happen where they matter, and that’s in the heart.
My first novel on my site sold today. Big deal. And the first to buy here is Denise. This matters to me. This really matters to me. I hope it matters to her, too.
To the Page Lake summer person who has a special place in her heart for the wonderful Harford church and community, where there are many memories of worship, laughter, love, and friendship, I send you and your family great and lasting love. I pray this novel speaks to you through love, loss and life. God Bless you, Denise.