A Reminder on the Wall

I’m sitting on the red couch that is old and sags in its middle. I look west at the setting sun out the window, past the artificial Christmas tree. The ornaments are gone, but it remains there, stubbornly lit up to face the winter ahead. Battery lit candles light the window panes. the setting sun shines gold through the bare branches of the big locust tree in our from yard.

I have that heavy feeling in my chest. A new worry saturates my spirit. It’s been a tough day.

Watching the turning world do its thing settles me, along with the quiet and what I see hanging on the wall to the left of the window — the baptismal cloth belonging to my grandmother, Lydia, safely encased, entombed almost in a clear glass case. Its faded fabric still shines a bit with ornate gold crosses threaded in. My guess is that it dates to the year 1900, when she was born and surely baptized by her father, Ole, who was the pastor.

One hundred twenty-two years of life’s twists and turns, ups and downs, sorrows and thrills. I wonder how many homes the case has hung in, and what was going on in the lives of those who were coming and going from wherever it happened to be. Now, finally, it stays with us. Wonderful.

I’m reminded as the sun sets and the tyrannies of the urgent moment rage, that the God of all life is present, still as ever. I’m brought back to the words of the Psalmist:

“The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time and forevermore.”

I’m contemplating how issues and problems of the moment pale when compared to the realization that “My help comes the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” Though there are so many unknowns for us to face, we face them in touch with the Holy One, the Lord who will not let your foot be moved, and doesn’t slumber, and who promises to keep us.

It’s enough! And I’m looking forward to the sun rising on another day after slumber.

Love From Here

Peter Hawkinson

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