This past year like all those gone before seems to have been a blur, yet when I think about each event, each moment, there are pieces so many that they become like the sands upon a beach, too many to tell individually; they have all become my collective memory. Tonight as the sun fell into the horizon, we strung temporary lights in my daughter’s tree house so that we could clean out the seasons of debris, storms and corpses of beloved pets that found the refuge of the lofty manner their last resting place on earth. The artifacts we unearthed along the way provided me memories far beyond the past year and into the childhood days of my now preteen daughter. Given time, the tree house would have become like those pets, decayed, forgotten and melded into the wood to become one with the world around them; their beings long ago passed. As her childhood passes, so do the same fondness for playing in the old wooden structure built aloft in the trees just outside our bedroom window. Like each of us, with time we change and so do our passions for things of this world. However, as we age, we find that the things that matter most go beyond those earthly abodes we so often adore and hopefully we find what is most important in life.
While cleaning, we found leaves and old toys in all manner of dried and faded states scattered about the nearly forgotten play house. It had become an oasis for the pets of the farm, a safety zone where they could find shelter from the storms and the scent of their master whom they cherished to the bitter end. The outsides of the structure were painted by happy children, eager to decorate their new home away-from-home. Dinosaurs, trees and a single bright sun adorned the bare wood of the single room cabin in the bows of the stand of trees. The house was built so that the trees could still move and allow the structure to float on their braces underneath, thus giving it the ability to withstand even the most violent storms. Hence, to this day, there have been little signs of wear from being a home in the trees. Vines have begun to grow through the boards making the house even more one with its surroundings. It is not an air tight structure but was built to give the feel of such a dwelling. As we stood outside and admired the lights within it reminded me of the time I had just finished the cabin in the woods near our current home and would stand outside of it too at night, looking inward at the lamp light burning its soft warm glow through the windows and door into the black abyss. The same warmth and comfort from that light made you feel like this was home, and so it was once again. The creation of something from nothing, only to have the connection of creating life from death echoes back to ancient times.
The feeling it invokes brings to mind the following scripture:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” – John 5:23-25
My journey this past year began early in the throes of late December 2012 when I wrote in my journal about the path that was only about to begin; the one I had yet to travel and its pathway I had no idea where it would lead. I had put my manure spreader on the market and was selling it the next day in order to help pay for the publishing of the first book. I was literally turning farm equipment into a manuscript. I wrote sarcastically in my journal that night that my book may merely be a bunch of manure but like the spreader I was selling, I had to also spread the Word, so that the journey could begin. To be fair, I had to at least try; I had to begin an evangelistic mission of sorts, one I had never planned when I first put pen to paper and began writing the first book. But like all things Heaven sent, we seldom know where they will lead us until we find ourselves already there. That night I also began writing in my sequel, one year from today and once more, I went back and reread those words, the start of another journey, another turn in the roads of time for the characters in my first book, “Bruecke to Heaven”. Like me, they had no idea where they were going but put all of their faith in God, for they too had passed from death to life in order to believe in the Word. No longer are we confined by the law of sin, but rather we are given the choice to believe and to accept Christ into our lives, and for that I am eternally grateful.
The past year I have met and spoken to countless wonderful people, each with their own story, each leaving their impression upon me in one way or another. I have been places, seen things and performed acts I would have never imagined. Some of the most significant things were hearing of my children winning second place in the first ever Jr. Bocci tournament in Valdese as part of their annual Waldensian Celebration. Had it not been for the journey of the book, we might never have been there for them to enter. There was the time the woman was moved to tears during my radio interview on the Truth Radio Network after hearing my song and reading the cover of my book; her story involved recovering from cancer surgery and how the words from the cover had spoken to her. Then there were the countless times when speaking to someone for the first time, I could feel the Holy spirit move through me and into them, a sensation indescribable but its reaction on the one to whom I was speaking priceless. Another moment was seeing my book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble; something years earlier I would have never imagined and still find it humbling to see. I could only imagine what grandpa and grandma would say or even what Aunt June would feel knowing she had been responsible for getting the ball rolling. She never lived to read the book but passed the day of my first official public book signing; something I will never forget. Like life from death, I carry on the memories and the journey continues.
As we prepare the tree house for a new life, one with lights and a new purpose, we take with us the memories of those pets found absorbed into its floor, our family and all the trails that faith takes us and with it we must continue on into the darkness. We now have the light, the Word and we shall forever be changed.
May your new year involve something blessed, a tale of faith, a journey of life and a moment in time you will never forget.
God Bless, Have a Happy New Year and Lux Lucet in Tenebris for All!