Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.
Our family was sitting around the table, Lord. A casual breakfast preparing for a difficult event: the passing of my cousin. Our family though is resilient and we had prepared for this moment. My cousin’s wife, my sister, my wife, other friends and relatives sat there with me to do what we do best…share the stories of life. And so I shared.
She gave me the anticipated puzzled look and I proceeded with my advantage. I explained the coincidence that we had, on this date long ago, moved as a family to Houston Texas. Our father had been promoted in his company and so we were sitting in a motel room with a malfunctioning air conditioner. It was June in Texas, too hot to leave the premises, so we kept the motel door and windows open and did the only thing available, we watched television. It was what was on TV which stamped an indelible exclamation point on this memory. All three channels were covering the Six Day War in Israel.
Lord, You knew then and now, the power of that moment for me, even though it has taken me many years to figure it out. But at a breakfast table fifty years later, I am able to share how You changed my life in that moment long ago. You had planted a seed which began to germinate into a haunting curiosity that would persist and grow into a full-fledged conversation with You. You had cultivated in me a desire and love for Your people and Your land. Many in my family still can’t figure out my great passion for the place…for that matter, my love for You, Jesus. Still, You tell me to continue, in the right times and places, to share my story―not just to my family, but to the world.
I confess that I get the timing wrong and sometimes the words get tangled up in my mouth. But if I look to Your timing, wait for Your moment, just as You waited and planned early on for a young boy to be captured in his heart by a spiritual and physical struggle far away―I too can plant a new seed. It too will germinate in some other heart and…You will enter into the growing conversation.
So my story is really Your story, Lord. And as with many stories that You have combined into Your great telling, it has come about over a course of time. The story is rich and deep and the reward in its sharing is the look in someone’s eyes, the quickening of their heart and the change in their expression as they realize, “this is my story too.”
Lord, I pray for Your story to continue to be in my heart, on my lips and in these pages.