The Empty Urns

Ruth 1:16-17

But Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your God my God; where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.  May the Lord do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you.”

Thought for the Day:   God gives us friends to lean on.

Finishing my time in my beloved Camden, where I grew up, was difficult and I could have prolonged it for many more hours.  As I was past my original time of departure, I realized that I could not leave without doing a very important thing.  As my college roommate, Nancy, and I drove through the cemetery where my parents and both of my brothers are buried, she heard me sigh, “Uh, oh!”  She said, “What’s wrong?”, and I replied, “You are about to see what’s wrong!”  As we walked toward the graves, it was a very obvious sight, there were flowers on most of the graves surrounding theirs, so their empty urns stood out in our vision.  But it was worse than that…obviously some child had been at the cemetery and felt sorry that these graves had no flowers, so they put a single bud from other graves in each of the urns on my brothers’ graves.  I felt myself look at my mother’s grave and when I did, I could almost hear her giggle.  Out loud, I pointed at her grave and said, “Don’t you laugh at me!”  Nancy and I just laughed and I heard her say, “Oh, Honey, you really need to go get those flowers.”  What could have been a sad situation became a laughable moment as I heard my mother laugh and as I heard my Nancy joke about what we were experiencing.  And, on that day, God gave me another fun moment with my family and a special girl, Nancy, who was so loved by my parents and brothers.

Blessings come when we do not expect them, and God appears through those blessings.  When I texted my college roommate to see if she would come to church with me in Camden, I knew I would be blessed because she always brings me blessings.  However, I did not know that her presence with me in the cemetery on that day would help God in a very special way.  If I had gone to the cemetery by myself to see those empty flower urns, I would have been saddened by that image.  However, her presence lightened the situation to bring it to a laughable, fun moment with my family.  The six-hour drive back to my home would have been full of tears but instead that drive home was full of smiles.  Thank you, God, once again for Nancy.  She is a special gift and I am thankful.

Prayer:  God, thank you for special memories and thank you for people who help us through the hard times. You bless us each day with the gifts of friends and use them to bring us through our faith journey.  You are awesome, God, and we praise you.  Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Those remembering the past

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