In Luke’s early verses of chapter 15 we read the story of the woman who has ten silver coins and having lost one searches diligently for it. Once she has found it she is so filled with rejoicing she calls her friends together to celebrate her joy with her. Some things are just too good to be kept to oneself.
During my growing-up years my family and I lived in an Air Force Base city. Attached to the base were many first time away from home young folks, some singles, some couples, who drew the attention of my parents like nectar to bees. My parents saw a need in these young ones that they could fulfill and in their doing so taught me the valuable lesson of taking advantage of life’s fleeting moments.
More than a half-century has passed between those years and the present with some of us still in touch; now I live halfway across the country from the land of my birth but once again I am delighted to live in an Air Force city. The mission of this base is different but we often see students assigned for short periods of time. Not very long ago my husband and I had opportunity to thoroughly enjoy the companionship of “two of America’s finest” when these young men, military students close in age to our son, had some time off that they chose to share with us during and following Sunday morning church services and/or other times during the week. It didn’t take long for us to grow to love them like family and in our rejoicing we, like the woman who had found her coin, wanted to share “our find” with family and friends.
Parting with these two was painful but not too long after they left another young man came to our city and we looked forward to getting to know and love him as we had them…lunches together, lazy Sunday afternoons in our home giving him the opportunity to get away from the base if he so chose, just getting to know one another…but issues got in the way this time and we didn’t make the diligent effort seen in the woman in Luke 15. Our knowledge of him was surface but still there remained that sense that he was very special. Whenever we did see him at church we tried to have contact but it was lacking and too minimal to be satisfactory. Recently the Sunday a.m. announcement was made that this was the last Sunday the young man would be with us. After the service was over I made sure I got to speak to him and as I went to shake his hand he enfolded me in a gentle one-sided hug that told me he understood we meant the planned invitation to get together. We said our good-byes and my knowing we have each other’s e-addresses helps but somehow I feel I have lost a valuable coin. I wish we had somehow made the time to get together as we did with those young folks of half a century past or those “two of America’s finest” of the more recent past because people are just too good to be kept to oneself!
©Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 6-9-09
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