Saturday, July 7, 2012

a bit about strangers...

Scenario 1: A cold, wet winters night finds us at a busy shopping centre for a casual rendezvous with family. After our usual greetings we each choose our meals from the food court and gather around the small round table waiting to start devouring our finds.

Our family like to pause and pray before we eat a meal.  Not really out of tradition, but more out of respect and thanks, acknowledging God and His constant provision in our lives.  So on this occassion, as with many before, we held hands and said our little prayer.  It's kind of cute to see the girls recite our thanks.

As we enjoyed our meals, as much as one can enjoy a food court spread, a lady from a neighbouring table seemed to stand and clear her table.  In a few moments she had came across from her table and leaned over to ask me if we were Christians, as she had noticed us pray and was really encouraged by that.  Well, yes, I sheepishly responded, and in a few short minutes we were blessed by her encouragement, and her story as she shared with us a bit about her own journey.  She pressed a small gift into my hand, and went on her way.

Little did this lady know, that just a short time ago, before heading into the shopping centre, we were talking about our finances, and in one act of kindness, God showed me that He does indeed listen, and care.

A random act of kindness proved to be Divine Providence.

Scenario 2: Another wintery day finds me on another shopping expedition.  This time I am strolling down a shopping strip with a dear friend on a crisp but sunny winters day.  It's a little after 11am, and we've been meandering in and out of stores, already spending probably a little more that what we had set out to, but enjoying our girly time together nonetheless.

As we begin to approach an intersection, already eyeing out the thrift stores across the street, a stranger walks by.  In a slow-motion style I glance her way, and she pauses briefly behind me.  I must have paused briefly enough too, as she suddenly finds the need to say to me...

"You know you can buy things to do your hair properly!  You're not even Australian are you?"

In my shock, I meekly reply "yes, I am"

She firmly says "no, you are not" and I feel myself being gently lead away by my friend as the outrageous conversation ends.

my "wild" hairdo!

For the next few minutes I am stunned.  I mean, I really did think my hair was pretty nice.  It can be a bit unruly but really, it's not wild or anything.  It really was a strange interaction, and I have no idea what she was really thinking or seeing when she looked at me.  Perhaps I was just the visualisation to her own inner world?  But it certainly put the word "strange" into stranger for me.

So a lesson?  Umm, I do believe now that God really does uses strangers to bless us... and sometimes it's in ways that we have no idea about!

something is missing?

Dadda comes home from his early morning meeting and his girls race to the door to meet him.  It really is the most joyous sight, watching this fully grown man stoop down low to sweep up a giggling toddler into one arm, while hugging our preteen with his other arm.  Just a few moments later they break from the embrace and while LittleBee races back to her tv schedule, LadyBug takes Dadda by the hand and drags him into the rumpus room for she has a schedule all of her own, and it involves Dadda being there with her at any cost.

* a whisper within says that something is missing

After soaking in this sight, I head back to my own station where I have been camped at for a decent chunk of time this morning, and get back to working on typing up meeting minutes.  It's not far from being finished as my empty coffee cups beckons for a refill.

* and still something is missing

As I enter the kitchen, which yes looks a little like a disaster zone since it is Pancake Saturday, a thought enters my mind... "where is he again?  Did we let him have a sleep over?  It's just so quiet here right now, it just feels like something is missing?"  My heart and my mind have a battle, be it ever so briefly, and it's not too long before the truth and the logic scramble to the forefront of my brain and shout out in words so piercing and so painful they nearly bring me to my knees.... "Oliver is dead, remember"

* something IS missing

It's hard to explain, but every so often, there are these little moments in time where I automatically place my son into the picture.  He should have been fighting his sisters at the door this morning for a piece of Dadda's leg.  He should have been pouring maple syrup all over his own pancakes while his sisters watch and giggle at his bed hair and his lack of finesse.  He should have been wanting my attention whilst I was working, or arguing over who's turn it is to wash up after breakfast, or offering to make me a cuppa as any six year old would do.

Yes, something is missing.  

Oliver, you are missing from this family and our crazy daily antics.  But you are always here too.

... a huge thank you to Tesha at Tesha's Treasures for making this gorgeous picture for me.  She has an amazing heart for helping other women through their greif by sharing her own journey with us.  Today I'm joining in her weekly blog hop...


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