Some years ago Jay had surgery on his neck for a cervical problem. The post operative days were challenging, but he recovered fully.
In the midst of recovery, we were both feeling a bit caged in. We agreed we longed for a vacation.
However, it was the middle of summer, and we were not sure we could handle a car trip. I said we could always try to get to South Carolina.
Jay vetoed that, saying it would be too hot. I asked him what he was looking for — Alaska? Much to my surprise, he said, “Yes!”
I was even more surprised to hear my very non-spontaneous self saying, “Let’s do it!”
And so it came to past that just a few short weeks later, we flew to Alaska and took a cruise.
There were many things to remember from that trip, but none quite as memorable as seeing glaciers up close. No pictures or videos could capture the full experience.
At one point, we were at a park right across from a large glacier. Jay ventured out on some rocks to get the primo picture. As usual, his spirit of adventure knew no bounds. (Kentucky’s motto of “unbridled spirit” says it all about this Kentucky man!)
The rocks were slippery. My gasp was only one of the crowd who witnessed his fall halfway down a cliff.
I remember the split second thought of how ironic that after going through all he had been through with his neck, that it was all going to end at the foot of a glacier in Alaska.
However, God was and is merciful. Jay’s backpack caught on the rocks, stopping his fall. And this man, who had just had neck surgery, reached behind him, and inched his way back up the cliff backwards!
When he reached the top, it was to the cheers of a crowd and the sight of his wife, who nearly needed resuscitation from Adrenalin overload.
Jay got up, dusted himself off and checked his camera to be sure he got the picture!
It was a good one, and one day when I dig out the Alaska pictures, I will share it.
Meanwhile, he continues to be “unbridled.” Tonight he stopped the car, hopped out and raced over to a grass strip way too close to traffic to suit me. Why? He was chasing rainbows! And yes, he got the picture and is still with us in one piece.
I hope it will be a long time until Jay swings on the gates of Heaven … or at least, we can go together for the adventure.
But in the meantime, after tonight’s activities, God called Jay by name from the clouds. We looked up and discovered the clouds had moved into the shape of a J.
I don’t know whether God was calling him like a parent calls a child out of the street … or giving him a high five for getting the picture. Either way, life with Jay continues to be one roller coaster ride!
We do not know how our heavenly bodies will look. But it is interesting to imagine.
We already see in nature how God’s Creations grow and are transformed, being able to experience and do more with each stage.
Caterpillarscan barely see at all. They have simple eyes which can only differentiate dark from light; they cannot form an image.
Butterflies have compound eyes and simple eyes. These eyes are made up of many hexagonal lens/corneas which focus light from each part of the insect’s field of view onto something similar to our retina.
An optic nerve then carries this information to the insect’s brain. They see very differently from us; they can see ultraviolet rays which are invisible to us.
Both Ezekiel and John had visions in which they saw creatures with “eyes all around.” These creatures could see everywhere!
Having been visually challenged from a young age and even more so in recent years, I know the longing to see more.
I enjoy every bit of what The Lord allows me to see, but I am always imagining what it would be like to experience even more. What an amazing thought to have eyes all around!
And I am sure if that were true, The Lord would give us whatever would be needed to process and enjoy what we saw.
After Jesus got His Resurrected Body, He apparently was able to walk through walls, go from place to place effortlessly and even rise up into the clouds!
John said, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.”
Some years ago, Jay and I met Miss Bea Coaxum outside a shop in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.
We sat on the porch with her and watched her weave sweet grass baskets. She handled each strip of grass as if she was holding a precious treasure.
In fact, she was. She was carrying on the gift of her ancestors who brought it to the shores of America long ago.
The art of sweetgrass basket making came to South Carolina in the 17th Century by way of West African slaves, brought to the south to work on rice plantations.
Traditionally, the older African men would weave these baskets, making large “fanners” to be used in the rice fields.
Later, women took up the craft, making coiled baskets of different shapes and sizes to hold vegetables, shellfish, and cotton.
Sweetgrass would be gathered along the marshes, dried, and then bundled together and coiled, held in place with palmetto fronds.
Sometimes bulrush and pine needles were woven into the baskets to add decoration.
Miss Bea told us her mother had insisted she learn the trade and carry the gift forward. Miss Bea resisted. She said she felt it was a burden, not a gift.
But, as time went on, she learned a valuable lesson. “What seems a burden to begin with may be a blessing in disguise. Sometimes God gives you burdens to grow blessings inside you.”
She said, “And you got to go back to the beginning. I was not just doing something for my people. God was doing something and I got to be a part of it.”
She held up a strip of grass. “You see this right here. It was made by God.”
She reached for a basket and smiled. “You see this right here. He let me make it. We do it together.”
We sat there with Miss Bea for quite awhile that summer afternoon. Others came and went. Some bought baskets. Many, like us, were mesmerized by watching her and hearing her tell her stories.
When it was time to leave, we bought two baskets. We felt honored to receive a treasure of what God had created, given lovingly through one of His Creations.
But there was one more blessing to come. Miss Bea took a strip of grass and handed it to me. She then took another strip and handed it to Jay.
She then guided us through weaving them together. She then put her hands over ours, smiled and said, “When you have woven the grass together, you become one with He Who created it. And you will be together forever.”
It was a benediction, a promise to take with us, and I felt all of Miss Bea’s ancestors saying, “Amen!”
And God said, “Let the earth grow grass.”The earth grew grass. And God saw that this was good.
For many years, Bob Pitman was our State Farm representative. From the beginning, we were drawn to his smile and personal touch.
He was more than “the insurance man.” He became a life coach of sorts. His door was always open. But so were his ears and more importantly, his heart.
He listened, he advised, and he easily shared The Love of Jesus. He always gave us the gifts of wisdom and encouragement.
Some years after we met Bob, we joined a new church. We were delighted to discover that Bob also went to church there. And even better, he sang in the choir.
Not only did we get to see him more regularly, but we also got to enjoy his music and see that warm smile. When he sang, it was as if he was truly a part of a choir beyond the walls of that church.
And then God took it up a notch for us. We met Connie, Bob’s wife. Connie had a smile that could only be matched by Bob’s.
Connie is a wonderful prayer warrior, whose Love for God and everyone around her spills out as a healing balm. When Connie calls me, “beloved,” I get a foretaste of The Joy of hearing Jesus speak those words.
Connie loved Bob and Bob loved her. Their Love was real and long term. God truly created a Power team when He brought them together.
Bob was promoted to Heaven last night. I am sure The Lord Himself walked him Home and presented him to the saints of God.
I am believing Bob got to meet some of the singers who preceded him there. And they are singing now for Connie, and their family and for all of us.
Here is the link to a song of celebration and anticipation of that great day when all God’s singers get home!
God gave His Rainbow as a sign of His Covenant with us. It is His Way of saying, “Look up. Remember what I promised you. Remember what you promised Me.”
“I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come.
I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.
When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds.”
The prophet, Ezekiel, saw the rainbow as The Glory of God.
“All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what The Glory of the Lord looked like to me.”
John saw God’s Rainbow in Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
“And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow.”
And tonight we saw Him too … and we stood in awe and wonder … and gratitude to The One Who always keeps His Promises!
As we have gone further into our home clean up project, we have learned much about ourselves.
It has been interesting to see what each of us is willing to give up, and what we aren’t.
We have been forced to consider whether we are hoarders or guardians of precious treasures.
Today God and I had a conversation about whether I was hoarding His Word. Ironically on the same day we were getting ready to contribute to an organization that gives Bibles, I cleaned out the bookcase in our family room.
I cheerfully loaded up a box with books to go to the library. The box did not include the various Bibles I had collected over the years.
I felt God’s nudge.
“What about My Word?” He said.
I smiled, being sure He would be proud of me for taking such good care of The Bibles. I pointed out how I had put them right back on the shelf.
There seemed to be a Holy Silence, followed by a deep Celestial Sigh.
“I thought you wanted to share My Word.”
“I do. We’re contributing to that Bible group today.”
“What about those Bibles on the shelf? Are you going to share them?”
I explained how I had received each of them on special occasions. I reminded Him that most had my comments written in them.
He asked, “So, let Me understand this. You have multiple copies of My Truth, along with Truths I have revealed to you. And you plan to keep them closed up and on display here?”
It was my turn to sigh. Oh … 😳
I added The Bibles to the box. I am making a donation tomorrow. It has given me Joy tonight to contemplate who might be surprised to receive a Bible with “Carolyn’s Commentary” written in the margins!
Perhaps you might also want to send out God’s Words. You may never know where they will go, but you can trust God will see they get delivered to the right person at the right time!
As recorded in Isaiah 55:11, God said, “My Word … shall not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve The Purpose for which I sent it!”