Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kicking Up Sand

I was at the beach recently and observed a mom intertwined with her child as they playfully were kicking up sand at each other’s feet. The giggling gleeful joy is unmistakable. I think it is separate from time. It embeds a memory of connection, playing, and intentional relationship.

I’m sitting here observing the light beginning to change at the end of the day. The shadows are increasing, but still the brightness pervades as the last bits of sunlight try to skate along the landscape that will pick up the beams left above the horizon. There’s a part of grief that can be hard to let go of…a shifting of the memories…some moving me from sadness to rejoicing that they were a part of my life.

I spent some time reflecting. Reflection is light bouncing off of an object. Sometimes it is an event or a person that so impacts our life. When we lose a spouse, especially, there is a knitting of the souls that has happened and now is torn apart. I’ve always loved the miraculous picture of Psalm 139….we were known BEFORE we were knit together in our parents’ womb. Marriage knitting takes place after much is formed in a person’s life. Grief doesn’t unravel it, although it feels like that at times!!! Grief just defines the borders. There are no new rows, no new pearls. There is, however, the looking back over the fabric, the weaves and colors. It will take a lifetime to see all the colors as sometimes they change with the light of the seasons. There is an appreciation of some (colors/events) in ways we can’t imagine; they heighten or bless new memories. The colors show up in children as they grow and take on the shades of the one departed.

The knitting that happens through a relationship becomes a part of who we are. Michael and I shared likes and dislikes with even some of those changing through the years as we learned to appreciate what the other person enjoyed. Still never got the mushroom thing…maybe that was the stitch that kept dropping.

Now as a single and learning contentment in that role, there is a fascination to embracing who I am as a “knitted person.” I can’t take away what Michael and I learned together, but I also am not visible as two, but one. Friends don’t treat me as “two” but as an individual, whole person, such as each of us are. Some knitting is in the hidden mysteries and heart of God and some is visible in His placement of people in our lives or external events…like the neighborhood where we live, where we work, or the life action that happens around us.

New people who we meet now see a knitted person (but not without holes!) They maybe never met Michael or your loved one. I have grown and blossomed as a person because of the ‘knittedness’ in my life, but how do I think of that...ponder that without staying stuck there? For me I think I am seeing new colors in the knitting because I am allowing memories to surface and enjoying the effect the colors bring to my life now. I am enjoying the spectrum of the lights as they illuminate the new normal and add richness to life.

My youngest just shared that he may be being called to be a Children’s Pastor. Hmmmmm. It is so wildly wonderful to see him maturing and processing relationships, especially with his heavenly Father. His earthly father will always be knit into his life.

My oldest is in Asia with a friend I’ve known for almost 25 years. He had to go to the copy store the other day with only the language of the locals. My other college son is showing his last pig this week for 4-H (postscript: he took 8th in a showmanship class of about 30) and getting ready for a tour to Southern CA with his band, Dice in the Icebox. How pigs and bands relate, I have yet to discover, but I’m not doing the knitting. My girl is turning 16. The little girl I used to dress up in frilly dresses is now putting together outfits for me! She has her own relationship with Jesus and is knitted forever to His hand. She celebrates what her daddy gave to her and pours out that love on the children she works with and the friends she listens to.

The dog continues to be a sweet part of our lives, though not with frustrations…never mind the hair…but maybe we could knit a beautiful golden blanket someday soon.

Do we ever ponder the end of Psalm 139 and how it fits with the beginning?? Maybe I’ll ponder that for next time. “Clean knitting?” I’m so glad God knows my heart and is responsible for all the knitting in time!!

I am entwined in the heart of my Father…kicking up sand and giggling with glee…it comes out of connection, playing, and intentional relationship. Have you kicked up a little sand with someone lately?

Knit one, pearl two…
p.s. Thanks for your prayers for the missions class I took. God graced me with an A-!! I wonder if Michael had something to do with that? Encouragement from friends for sure! Prayers for our community with recent tragedies affecting many people, but definitely opening doors for Jesus' love to be shared and embraced. Quite a difference when a family that is left behind has an undergirding of the in Jesus...who loved us so much he paid the price for the ickiness in our we can have the sure hope of heaven. A hope to hang onto that can be real today...forever.