Forty years ago . . . I was baptized. I graduated from high school. I got married. I moved away from home for the first time.
This year . . . . my friend, Angie Springer, started a facebook page for the people who were saved during the Jesus People movement in the seventies and who attended our ‘coffeehouse’. She has been blessing us with photos of ourselves all fresh-faced and full of certainty and hope. There are my current pastor and his wife; there are my brothers-in-law and their wives; there are people who have gone home early – something we did not expect in those “Coming-soon!-Jesus-Christ!- Are-YOU-ready?” days. Many of these friends attended a funeral with me this past week, for a girl (okay, woman!) whose life was lived with courage and light. It was a celebration.
This year . . . . my class had its 40th reunion. Another facebook page peppered with old photographs and current selfies and friends from long ago and far away.
This year . . . . my handsome son turned thirty. Today, in fact. Of course I’m nostalgic over it. His story is a miraculous one of mercy toward a childless couple and grace toward the church who loved us and prayed unceasingly for us. This child’s very existence healed us. And his life over these last thirty years has been an overflowing cup.
This year my lovely daughter-in-love and my daughter have planned a 40th anniversary party for us. Another Facebook 40 page on my timeline. I’m digging out our wedding photos and looking at my wedding dress and thinking of the girl that I see there.
So much I did not foresee then. So much I would have avoided, had I been given the choice. But none of it was wasted. God is wise. God is good. God’s mercy reaches to the heavens. God loves us. These are the true things that 40 years have taught me.
So my friends, if I’m a bit over the top these days, it’s because this landmark year just keeps coming. I didn’t expect to be here. But I’m glad I am.