Saturday, October 22, 2011

Predicting the Past

I write this as I fly home from Indianapolis. I have just spent two days with a friend, client, confidante, supporter, businessman, and fellow believer. He came into my life five years ago when I spoke at an event that he was attending. He then made an effort to know me and pursued that effort. I look back to five years ago and it feels like I was supposed to be in his home five years later. I was comfortable with his bride, and his pets. But we were born in two different parts of the world and in distinctively different cultural settings. Our paths of faith, habit and circumstance should never have intersected but for the pre-ordained will of the master who says he knew both of us before we were conceived. 

Brad has since accompanied me to India and shared his passion for the gospel in a church in the very city I was born in. Through a translator he had to explain why a as a successful businessman he would follow an itinerant evangelist half way around the world. God had already predicted this in our past by telling us through His word that he would one day appoint us as spokespersons to the nations. It did not seem possible until we were in the very slums of India experiencing heartache amidst human suffering and celebrating joy through organized effort  that we understood how coincidence works. 

This weekend was special. I worked with his employees, associates and friends. He was proud of me as I am of him. We are friends. Impacting each other, because a long time before we were ever here the Grand Weaver wove this tapestry of union. India would meet Indiana. Indiana would go to India. India would be invited to Indiana. I can almost predict what would have happened but I am excited about what has happened and look forward to what will happen. 


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Friday, October 14, 2011

Grieving With Joy

They say time heals all wounds and that given enough time we should be able to make peace with ourselves. They also say that if you remember the good times then the anguish and struggle will slowly fade away. But a year after I buried my best friend and lamented the loss of my beloved mother-in-law, the wound still seems fresh. I search for those happy memories but the only thing that stands in the way of a permanent smile is the anguish of separation. But while traveling with my father-in-law in India recently I learned something about memories. He looked at life through the lens of how it was lived and always spoke in the present continuous.


He reminded me of all her accomplishments and how she would be so proud of the work I was doing through the ministry that bears her name. He praised God one morning at 3:00 AM while being grateful that we still had the privilege of serving a Great God. On the first anniversary of her passing he told me that he was happy that she had given him fifty wonderful years. He was grieving with joy.


Today I will take my bride to lunch and then go to the grave of my best friend to thank him for the joy he was in my life. I will celebrate his accomplishments and give him praise for the creative titles he gave to some of my works.



I miss mom and Rich and losing both of them in the same week seemed unfair but I too shall grieve with joy.Today as you look at your own life and the memories that are hidden-thank those that are around, so you don't have to wait. But if they have been separated from you then make sure that you are grateful for the memories and then learn to grieve with joy.

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