Monday, December 17, 2007
I just am back from visiting my ladies group in Newark last night. I have been so touched by their gift of friendship in the last 17 years. This weekend again touched me in deep ways. The picture above was done 20 years ago when my aunt Barb and I went to Paris together on a trip. A artist in Montmartre asked to sketch me and then wanted 100 francs for the picture. I ended up giving him 20 francs. He told me I had the saddest eyes he had ever seen. I have had this picture rolled up in a container all these years, but this last summer, gave it to my friend Connie to look at getting it framed finally. I always loved looking at where I had come from-the sorrow that was so evident in my eyes and life at the time. Well, here I am visiting my friends this weekend--and after they gave me 3 baskets full of gifts to open in the year to come--heartful hug presents-to open--some on specific days--others on days I needed to. Those gifts alone blew me away--such kind and wonderful friends they are. I was deeply touched by these dear women. Then they told me they had one more gift they have been trying to give me for the last month or 2--since all this happened to Sarah. They even have brought this gift to Cleveland and took it home as it wasn't the right time to give it to me. They weren't even sure if this was the right time. As I opened it, I was again so deeply blown away. The picture of me-20 years ago--with those eyes was framed in the most beautiful frame and setting. It gave rich value to the woman and her journey. I felt that I was honored in some sort of deep way by this framing job. I know my eyes still hold deep sorrow. But in those eyes is the most firm hope...the hope of a future in the kingdom of God. Weeping may last for the night--but JOY comes in the morning. I am richer for these gifts, they will travel my year of 2008 with me. They will lighten deep days of grief and remind me of the riches in friends and memories given to me. How rich I am. Wow. I am blown away by the goodness of God in the land of the living.