Monday, November 15, 2010

Life Lines


She told the story of threads woven in love.  Delicate, lone strands that became strong together in the twisting and the crossing and the pressing.  She spoke of how friendship had been her lifeline, how we three had held her from harm.  Then she gave the gift as a reminder of hope and help and healing.

A colorful strand woven in love, ends seared by fire to hold it together.


When he could no longer live alone, he came to us.  In early December, bags packed hurriedly with just what was needed.  He left behind 60 years of memories, his friends, his church, his life.  And in his remaining seven months he battled unfamiliar cold, loss of independence, a failing body and mind.

I battled as well, to love him well: to help him along those last few steps, to care for him, to honor him.  In spite of the inconvenience, the lack of sleep, the raging emotions, our relationship grew.

In the twisting, and the crossing, and the pressing.


She arrived on the scene when I was four years old.  I didn't like sharing my spotlight.  Or my bedroom.  Or my toys.  I tied her to a tree when we played cowboys and Indians, ignored her pleas to play games together, and slammed the door on her toe.  It was an accident she won't let me forget.

We laugh and talk like never before, sisters who have discovered each other many years after birth.  Perhaps we needed distance, space, experience.  And a shared inherited love for gadgets (and a perky Cheekywawa named Spike.)

We sift our early days together now, looking for patterns, for reasons, for explanations.  We find them together.  And we find new perspectives and understanding of ourselves and each other.

In the twisting, and the crossing, and the pressing.


The lines of love that hold us together are formed in the difficulties of life.  Our strength comes from the searing, painful events that melt our hearts into one.

The eternal, purifying Fire, molding us into His image.

Today, I am grateful for--

stories that stir life in me,

the opportunity and heartbreak of caretaking an aging parent,

a close relationship with my sister,


my granddaughter's tears of love when I leave,

my Dear Professor's chronic fatigue that both frustrates and offers opportunities to dispense grace through service,

the endless dirty dishes that offer endless opportunities to think about and pray for the ones who created them,

sorrows that bind us together, enlarge us, and teach us compassion.

holy experience