Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Perfect Day

     Our son, Brian, came to visit us this week.   He lives and works in Utica.  Brian stopped in briefly the Friday before last, joined us for dinner, then went to New York City to visit some friends for a few days.  He came back to us on Wednesday.  We went to lunch, visited Harney’s Tea Shop, lingered over dinners, and celebrated his birthday a month early, before he left last night.  My mother’s heart misses him already.
     Brian was to take the train out of Grand Central on Wednesday morning.  He boarded the northbound train, which left around 9:40.  The train stopped two minutes later and then reversed back into the station.  There had been a terrible gas explosion near the tracks about ten minutes earlier.  All traffic to Grand Central was shut down.  No trains were able to go in or out.  Brian called Pat to let him know that he was delayed.  Eventually, Brian found a round-a-bout route to catch a train beyond the blast site.
     Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning, I was at school.  I could tell that it was going to be a good day.  It wasn’t snowing.  We had all made it out the door on time.  I had remembered all the things that I needed for school, including my lunch, my tea, and my glasses. Best of all, I was looking forward to seeing Brian when I got home.  But first, I had a busy day ahead of me with annual meetings with parents.  These meetings are important, because we are planning for the children’s program for next school year.  Our day was well underway, when a parent came in shaking her head.  She said, “Isn’t it just terrible?  There was a big explosion at Grand Central Station.  So sad.”
     I flew out of my chair.  “My son!  My son is at Grand Central!”  I frantically left the meeting.  Memories of a beautiful morning one September and more recently, black backpacks in Boston filled my mind.  My prayers for Brian weren’t even words, but more like a breath and a hope.  I did what i always do when I am in trouble; I called Pat.  Pat quickly reassured me that he had just spoken to Brian and that he was fine.  Brian’s biggest problem would be finding a way to get home.  I suggested we drive down and pick him up.  Pat calmed me down and we hung up the phone.  I allowed myself a few grateful tears of relief, whispered a prayer for those who were involved in the explosion,waited for my heart to slow, and then went back to my meeting.  When I arrived home at the end of the day, Brian was there to greet me.  My son had come home.
     Some days we wake up to the perfect day and God’s loving presence can be seen and felt in every little moment.  We sing praises of anticipation as we move through our day.  But sometimes, a perfect day explodes with the unanticipated and we are thrown from the path we are traveling.   Sometimes God backs us up and sends us off in a different direction.  Sometimes we are misinformed, but God shows us that He is truth.  I am so thankful for the reminder that God loves my children even more than I do.    Whether my day is going my way or is far from perfect, Jesus is my constant companion.  He is at work in all my situations.  In fact, He goes through them with me. And had the unthinkable happened, God is still God and He loves me. His precious Holy Spirit whispers words of comfort and encouragement at those moments when I need them most. He helps me to sing songs of praise as joy flows freely from my lips, and to speak words of thanksgiving when I am frightened.  Our God is a God of refuge.  He is a place of rest.  He is a place of trust.  He is my hope all the day long.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.   ~Psalm 73:25-26
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