I’m writing this last night, after just returning a few hours earlier from a three-week trip to help my oldest daughter and her family after the birth of her second child. I still feel like I am riding in the car (it’s a 12-hour drive), and though I’m happy to be home, the house feels empty and too quiet.
I’m sure some of the events and insights of the past three weeks will find their way into future posts. But for now I want to share something I wrote after another family visit this summer. I hope you enjoy it!
Seeing Eternity in My Family’s Faces
“Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.”–Gail Buckley
Especially after just returning from two weeks of being together
with my grown daughters, their husbands, one grandson, and the two little cousins on the way.
I have a friend who sometimes says she misses her young children–even though she very much loves and enjoys them now as adults.
The past … can’t be retrieved or relived. I have a few of my daughters’ grade school photos in collages on a hallway wall … and sometimes when I glance at them, my heart catches. Where did those little girls go?
Ah, the present. Two beautiful young women. Not without struggles, but full of love. Each with talents. Growing in Jesus. Preparing to birth new life. Three marriages, my own included, each with its own challenges and blessings. A young boy with energy, imagination, and gifts.
And the future? Someday my daughters will be my age. Their children will be grown; they will have grandchildren, my great-grandchildren. What joys and sorrows will they have known? How will they have served and loved? What will my legacy to them be?
I love being with my family. It’s difficult for all of us that we live six states and hundreds of miles apart. Our visits are precious.
When I stepped into my house last night after two weeks away, I thought I felt the life of the days it had stood empty and silent.
There were the clean dishes I had left to dry near the sink. My plants had grown some. The ceiling fans quietly whirled, the answering machine beeped. The head of lettuce in the mostly empty fridge was still good. The pictures I want to hang in my office (rearranged after the demise of the beloved little bunny who resided there) still leaned against a wall. The lamp set with a timer clicked on, just as it had done each evening while we were gone.
That moment became a metaphor to me. Like my unoccupied house holding aspects of my past, present, and future simultaneously, my heavenly Father holds all my life. My past, my present, my future are all his. I think that is partly what eternity means.
And when I look into the mirrors of my family’s faces, that’s what I see.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.–2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV
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© 2012, Diane Stortz