Wow! It has been over a year since I posted on my "Blog". I imagine the 2 readers who have seen it have forgotten that I even have one--as have I.
I could not let this week go by without stopping to make note.
First of all, Joe had a message on his office phone on last Thursday that I noticed but thought to myself, "With all that is going on with the fires, Joe has enough on his plate. We will get to this when the dear man gets some rest. He needs sleep more than office work at the moment." Yesterday was the first day that Joe was not overwhelmed with emergency calls or meetings--we checked messages. That light that stared me in the face was only one message....thankfully. When he retrieved the voicemail it was an unfamaliar female voice introducing herself as Ellen Green! It took my breath away. She was a high school classmate of mine that I had not heard from in 23 years. She and I were the dearest of friends our senior year. She was calling to inform us of the passing of another classmate.
WHAT!!! I had let that message set for 4 days when I could have gone to a funeral and paid my respects to a man who needed my help passing English! Dear Wayne Reynolds! The mention of his name evokes a visual video in my mind.
You know, I have never made friends easily. When I finally get a friend, I give all of me in return! In fact, my "friend" list is pretty short. It might stem from all the years we moved when I was a kid. I focused on studies because it hurt too badly to develop an intimate bond and then leave. Ellen Green made it to that "friend" list as did Elesha Brandon. Both those women I think of often to this day. As far as "guy friends" I was always guarded because it was difficult--impossible--for young women to develope intimate relationships with young men without becoming emotionally attached.
However, Wayne Reynolds was a friend as best as I could describe him. I am certain we did not agree on a lot of things, but one thing I know--I always had his deepest respect--and he had mine. He struggled with English and gave our teacher fits. I really think he wanted to know how this grammer stuff worked but could never grasp it. Mrs. Hayes finally said, "Louise, can you help him?" He would pull up his chair next to my desk and we would work through those complex diagrams, write & rewrite sentences until they didn't sound "country". We read Shakespearian literature and I would try to explain.... Then on test day, he would attempt to sit behind me and talk me into moving my shoulder so he could see my paper. That is where my tutoring stopped. I never could allow myself to help someone cheat. That is another story for another day.
Wayne was burned with butane while in high school . I believe he was filling the tractor and somehow burned his arm and hand with the butane. He went home that evening and did not tell his parents until the middle of the night when the pain became so intense he could no longer stand it. They ended up having to take him to a burn center. He was one of the toughest young men I ever knew. I am not talking "football strut" tough....I am talking intestinal fortitude. Guts.
Now my burly friend is gone. I cannot really remember the last time I saw and visited with him. He would look me up if Joe was in a ranch rodeo he was watching. He knew if Joe was there, I would be too. He would slip by up by my seat in the stands and through his beard say, "You 'member me?" His twinkling blue eyes gave his ornery personality away. Wayne, I truly believe if I had ever needed you, you would have been there! To me, you were genuine. I will remember you fondly.
Also this week, the Pitchfork Ranch has lost to 80,000 acres to fire. We spent a few days on our west side putting up fire guards and squelching fires on our borders....watching helplessly as our neighbor burned. How easily it could have been us. We lost a few acres from a fire coming from the south, but precious little in comparison to our neighbor. Cattle casualties are being assessed now.
I remember how I felt after the fire of 2006 in the Panhandle of Texas. The following Sunday we sang, "Healing Rain" and I wept through the entire song--and service frankly. No amount of money or restitution can recover what a good healing rain can bring. I have since learned that there is purpose in the fires. There's a lot of brush that's cleared along with the grass. If the right care is given to the land it can come back better than ever; but like I said, it has to have care. No over-grazing....maybe a little weed spray. But seeing the purpose of fire when you are looking at skelital trees, blackened earth, and dying cattle is nothing one who is going through it wants to talk about. All you want to talk about at the moment is survival!
So how does one survive the fires that come? You know, I can not say that I have answers...but I know the One who does! For us, healing has come one day at a time...one assessment at a time. What caused the fire? What accellerated the fire? What fueled the fire? Sometimes the cause and the accelleration is out of our control. In this instance it was lightening and wind....most defininately a "God thing". But if I can manage the FUEL.... What would that be? Unwanted and over grown brush? Undergrazed land? God intended this earth to be managed or he would not have put Adam in a garden to Keep and Tend and Till. Nothing much grew until Adam was there to do the work. (Gen. 2:5) I don't think the Lord intended for land to be left unattended.
So many times, God has given me the physical to teach me the spiritual. What kind of "brush control" do I need to be doing to be prepared for those storms over which I have no control that are certain to come? Lord, I wanna KNOW YOU MORE! Help me, Lord, to see the overgrown brush and do some control before you have to set fire to clean me out. What is unused and setting there getting taller and prouder? What needs to be grazed and regrown and develop deeper roots? Lord, I'm searching and assessing!
The third big event? My last child is getting married this Saturday! This is something to celebrate because I truly believe all any of my children have really ever wanted is to have solid family of their own. Saturday is Sarah's day to start hers! It has been a lifetime of prayers answered for her mama and daddy. God has been so faithful to answer and bring for each child a mate especially designed for each and SATURDAY WE CELEBRATE THE GROOM COMING FOR HIS BRIDE!!!!!!!!
Now since no one knows I have a blog, I am certain few will see this post. But if you do, come celebrate with us. It will be Joe's and my last one! We need to celebrate after a week of not so good news. But, is that not how our Lord is...there is a rainbow after a storm...to give us hope to face another day!
One Lord! One Passion!