I’m sitting at one of my three favorite Starbucks. It’s on Camp Creek Parkway fairly close to the airport. It’s where I come when I want to get something, or hang out before work. It’s 4:15 in the afternoon. It doesn’t seem right to be writing my blog, but the next couple of days are going to be “off schedule” so to speak. I have to work tonight from 6PM until midnight. Then I work s double period tomorrow, between 2 and midnight. I’ll have a couple of hours off around 6. So, if I’m going to get anything posted for the next two days, I have to be flexible, and learn to write in the afternoon. I had rather be at home by the fire, but this will have to do.
Today I had an errand of love to perform for Julia. I was blessed to be able to perform it, and I really feel the need to write about it now. First I need to tell a little bit about Julia’s family. She was the first born of two children. She had a younger brother Cliff who died of tragic circumstances when Jennifer was in the 9th grade. Her mother and dad were great people, but they both had early deaths also. Julia’s dad got encephalitis on a fishing trip, and died when he was 54. Julia’s mother had pancreatic cancer, and died eleven years ago, in her mid 60’s. So Julia didn’t have very many living relatives. In fact, she sort of adopted my family as her own. My dad thought of her as one of “his” girls. Anyway, Julia has one favorite aunt that she is close to. She is the only one that we have seen consistently since her mother died. They would keep in touch on the phone, or we would visit with them a couple of times a year. Clarisse and Ralph were the closest living family that Julia had. We had even invited them up to our family Christmas a couple of times, but they weren’t able to come. Clarisse has two children. Last October one of them got married again, and we went to the wedding and were able to spend a good deal of time with them. We knew that Ralph had been very sick, and were able to pray for them both. I’m so glad we were there because that was the last time they saw Julia, and the last time I saw Ralph. He went into the hospital right after Christmas for some surgery and never came out. He passed away last Sunday.
So today I drove to McDonough Ga to attend his memorial service. The visitation was at 12, and the service was at 1PM. Since I have to work at the airport at 6, there was no time to drive home. That’s why I am at Starbucks. I never knew Ralph that well. We were never really that close. But I did know this. He was a very kind and gentle man. I would have probably liked him very much had circumstances been different. We always lived on opposite sides of Atlanta, and our visits were few and far between. Julia and Clarisse were close because they talked a lot on the phone, and had grown up knowing each other, but I was never really that close to either one. So my trip down today was for them and for Julia. I know that we would be going if she were here, and I wanted to honor them.
As I sat in the service I had really a lot of time to think and reflect. As they were talking about Ralph, I found myself thinking about Julia. They had a little program. On the inside was the 23rd psalm. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. I was thinking of how much He has carried me this past two months, and how He has kept me. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thy rod and staff they comfort me. I have walked in this valley for two months now. I really had no idea what to expect. I still don’t. But this I do know: He is comforting me, and I am learning a lot. It’s hard to quantify things right now. It’s just that there is a peace and calmness in my spirit that is so strong.. I’ve had peace before, but now I feel that peace radiating from me. There is also a strange calmness about me. It’s like I don’t care what happens. But that’s not it at all. I do care what happens, now more than ever. I think it is just that I know whatever happens, He is enough.
While I was eating a late lunch / early dinner I started reading my book of the month for BSSM. It is Hedi Baker’s book “Always Enough”. Have you ever started reading a book, and before you even get started you realize that this book could change your life? Well that’s the way I felt the minute I started reading it. There are things on my horizon. Things that I can’t see clearly now, but I know that I will in time. This book has something to do with them. I plan on reading it on the plane to Nicaragua this weekend. My pray for myself is that I would not only help bring change there, but that Holy Spirit would change in me whatever needs to be changed.
Now back to the service. They had been married 55 years. I know that she must be hurting, Julia and I had only been married 381/2 years. My heart went out to her and the children. It was a good service, very honoring to a kind and gentle man who loved God with all his heart. I could almost see Julia, Ralph and the rest of her family watching. I know she was glad I went, and so was I.