Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Dash

Tonight I expected to blog about the wonderful day I've had, sharing some of the blessings I've received. I thought I might be writing about the Knoxville gathering for the National Day of Prayer at the Civic Coliseum, perhaps sharing a few songs that inspired me. My typing fingers were ready to pound out the play-by-play for Franklin's triple he hit tonight at the game...set to include a photo of Braden's spaghetti face...anxious to share the experience of Weston singing beside me at the coliseum...but...instead...because of a phone call received a little while ago...I will not be sharing any of this tonight...

This past Tuesday was the last class of our Perspective on World Missions class. Over the past 15 weeks, Reid and Robin's world has been ROCKED by all of the information and challenges presented through this course. We have learned about God's heart for missions - His love for all nations. His love for all people. Tuesday night we celebrated the end of our time together.

Mason was asked to lead the closing song, "Glory to God." He stood up on stage in front of a large group and shared what he learned from his time in class. Of course, I cried. I could have never done what he is doing at his age. With the innocence of a child, but the confidence of a man, Mason truly led others into God's heart for worship.

As soon as Mason finished the song, a man named, Mr. Hawthorne, came up to close the class in prayer. This gentleman is probably close to the age of 80, I would guess. His prayers are soothing and angelic. They are a lullaby for the soul. His nourishing words always echoed my heart as he prayed. With his gray hair, slow gait, and age spots he is STILL SERVING GOD and LEADING CLASSES! What a lesson to be learned!

Quite a contrast to end a class on world missions with a 13 year old and an 80 year old, isn't it? What about all of the ages in the between youth years and elderly years? Significance can be found in the closing of this Perspectives class.

Reid recently posted on his blog about the young and old beginning his thoughts with this verse: “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15

All of this brings me to The Dash.

Mr. Hawthorne is still making the most of his dash. At an age when some people would likely dismiss him, he is still lavishly living his dash.

Do you know what The Dash is? You find one on every tombstone. The Dash is itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy line between the day you were born and the day you die. It represents all of the time you have here on earth. Every day, every moment, every choice, every relationship, every encounter, every word, every breath - summed up with a dash. A tiny line represents our entire life. A dash... A breath... A vapor...

Several years ago, a woman named Linda Ellis wrote a poem about The Dash. Please take time to read it if you are able.

So, why am I writing all of this tonight? Because just a little while ago we received a phone call to let us know that someone very dear to us is not likely to live until morning. This man has lived a long, joy-filled life, and we love him dearly. He has served his country as a Col. in the military until retirement. He always loved his wife and family well. He has poured out love on us since we wed on the same day as his birthday 15 years ago. We even sang Happy Birthday to him at our wedding reception. This is a man we respect tremendously. And it's likely we have had our last visit with him - only we didn't know it at the time. The sun seems to be setting on his life...

Placing the final end mark on his dash.
Please pray for this family, and take time to reflect on how you are spending your dash on earth. What will people say about the dash?

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. - James 4:14

I will post more once we know more, meanwhile prayers are greatly appreciated.

Friday morning updae - 9:22 am- no change since last night.

Update - Monday, May 10, 2010 - Scotty is in hospice care. He has not regained consciousness since his heart attack. Please pray for him and his wife, Polly. Very grateful.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for these beautiful words. They are comfort to the soul.

I had forgotten about singing to Uncle Scotty at our wedding reception - he didn't like being the center attention that night.

One of the lasting memories I will have of him was his smile last Thanksgiving. Anytime he was engaged with another person, listening or speaking, he had a great big smile, pure and innocent like a child.

The McBrides said...

That is so beautiful... I've never thought about "the dash".... kinda ironic... We think all there is is the dash... but our life is exactly that small in the big story. LOVE this. hope all is well!