– Monday Muse –
Dear One, one summer day when I was a mile-and-a-half into my two-mile walk, I unintentionally met up with another walker as she exited her driveway. Although Barb and I had lived in the same area for nearly forty years we had only, up until that time, shared a few words. Some of my first words that afternoon were, “Your flowers are just beautiful. I especially like the stand of pink phlox.”
Barb joined me, and we walked together toward my home. She had been widowed for some time, had health issues, and walked slowly. I adjusted to her pace, a pace which opened the door for relaxed conversation. And, whenever, our conversation overrode all else, which it often did, forward motion momentarily ceased.
When we reached my driveway, we parted. I should say, we parted physically, for we had in that brief time become spiritually linked. We said goodbye – not just as neighbors or mere acquaintances, but as sisters-in-Christ. After that, we carried one another in our hearts. You may wonder how is that possible? It is…through God (Luke 1:37).
Throughout the summer, when I drove by Barb’s, I always made sure to take in her beautiful flower garden. One afternoon when I was walking by she happened to be outside. I stopped to thank her for the beauty she brought to the neighborhood, mentioning once again the tall, pink phlox. She pointed to the edge of her lawn where the phlox had crept into the field, and said, “There are three that you can dig up, if you’d like.” I quickly responded, “Oh, I would like,” but I never did. And now Barb is gone, gone as in – with God.
When December rolled around, I had thought that Barb had gone South for the winter. But in early spring, as I was walking by her house, strangers were outside moving furniture. I stopped, met Barb’s niece from Wisconsin, explained my friendship with Barb, and inquired as to whether or not Barb was moving.
Her niece said, “We are putting the house on the market tomorrow. My aunt passed away last November…a massive stroke.” Passed away? I was stunned, and thought of the many times that Ron and I had spoken of her, and considered where she might have gone. We never once thought of Heaven. As I walked away, I so wished I had dug up Barb’s phlox last summer, and had them planted in my garden…now not so much for their beauty but in honor of our neighborhood prayer-walker.
During that first walk which Barb and I shared, I learned that as she walked past our neighbors’ homes, she prayed for everyone she knew. And she knew many and was well aware of their sufferings, challenges and hopes. When Barb and I parted that day, she said that she would add Ron and me and our family to her prayers. And lastly, with the sweetest of smiles, she added, “…and when I pray for you they will be such happy prayers.”
As it turned out, our walks were few, but the fellowship was deep and lasting.
For it is written, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the
light, we have fellowship with one another…” 1 John 1:5-7
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