– Monday Muse –
Dear One, the older I get the more I appreciate the fact that God never changes…because everything else does, (“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6a). The first Sunday in August, Ron and I drove to our hometown of McBain, just over an hour away. We took our bikes and rode up and down every street. It’s a small town. Not counting the stops we made, which were many, the actual pedaling took little over an hour.
After marrying in 1964, and moving away, and throughout the child raising years, we still spent a great deal of time there. For awhile, we even considered moving back. So I was somewhat surprised that my strongest memories of McBain were of my youth and high school years…sweet memories to be sure.
Although the main street was only one short block, it held many memories. What once was a clothing store, Northern Apparel, was now an ice cream shop. I remember running in there, early one morning on my way to school, dragging my little sister behind me. In an effort to shorten our walk, I had led us across a snow-covered ditch. My sister’s feet got soaked. Without a cent on me, I asked the store owner for a pair of dry socks for my sister. We left with socks in hand.
At the end of the street, Kelly’s restaurant stood almost as it always had. How many times during my high-school lunch breaks had I gone in there for a burger, fries, and a coke for a mere thirty-five cents. Yes, that’s right…thirty-five cents. Now, that is a sweet memory.
Near the other end of the street, there still stood a small, very narrow, single story, brick building that used to be a candy store. The memories it evoked were sweet to my tongue. So long ago, when I was still in grade school, my cousins and I, on a Saturday night would stop in Harold’s candy store to buy a sack of penny and nickel candy on our way to the free, outdoor movie. The movie was shown behind Harold’s on the side of an old building.
When we left main street, and headed toward my old home, we came to a dip in the road where we crossed the railroad tracks. The tracks evoked a memory which cannot be forgotten. One day when my sister and I were walking to our house on the edge of town, I led us home by way of the railroad tracks and across the field. It was a terribly cold day, and when we got to the open fields, the wind was penetrating. My little sister was freezing. I took my jacket off, put it over hers, and buttoned it around her. To my surprise, I was not cold. How can this be? Years later, when I learned more about God, His love, and His heart for children, I decided that it must have been His love which kept me warm.
Before we left town, we sat for a long time on a bench across the street from my parent’s and grandparent’s old homes. The bench was in front of a one-story apartment complex built on the open field by the railroad tracks. There we relaxed and talked and talked. We only talked about the town as we had known it. For our hometown was not to be found… it only existed in our memories. In a world that was forever changing, we could be grateful for an unchanging God.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
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