Still stuck on that phrase…the whispers of Eden. If I learn nothing else from Static (by Ron Martoia), it was worth it for that one phrase.
So here are the moments that surprised me today.
- David and I were shopping for new suits for him today. Suits just aren’t required attire anywhere in our life except funerals, which we rarely go to! But we had an event tonight that required one, an event Sunday, three family weddings this summer and one daughter graduating high school. Time for a new suit. While David was dutifully getting is pants altered I was visiting with an elderly gentleman who has sold me many nice dress shirts in the past. From previous conversations, I knew this friend had many health issues, and I asked him the latest today. It was not good news. The doctor gave him no hope of relief or longevity, with a liver that is slowly closing down and a heart that is nearing its end. My friend is 75, but he is not ready to finish his time here. We hugged, he teared up, we talked. At one point in the conversation I shared my “whispers of Eden” with him. His eyes filled with tears, and he began telling me all the whispers in his life: the time he sang at Carnegie hall and watched the curtain rise for the first time, the years he spent singing in a choir on North Labrador (where IS that?), the young family he has met (from my church — I know them though he doesn’t know that!) who have given him a new definition of the word family. He has led a long life, filled with some regrets and some high points. He wants to please God; he wants to honor the life God has given him; he wants family. He is also gay. My sweet friend who sells amazing shirts cried today as he thought about God’s fingerprints in HIS messy life. I don’t know how to evaluate it all, but there is power there.
- David and I spent our evening listening to Ron Blue, one of the Christian world’s best-known and respected financial planners. He was speaking on wealth transfer and estate planning to just a few of us invited to a dessert buffet high above the city of Palm Beach tonight. As he spoke about all these complicated future matters, I was enveloped with a sense of love and peace. Why? Because my dad cared enough to teach these principles to me; because he put them into practice in his own life without ever having read any books or attended any seminars; because God knows how to send a whisper of love right when we need it the most.
- I ended my evening in a bar, where I felt an amazingly peaceful sense of community. Now right away alarm bells are ringing: we were there to order take-out food to bring home (remember…it was a dessert buffet. No food. My kind of night, though…dessert first!). We sat chatting with the bartender while he poured us a hot tea and a cold tea, with an orange cut into a cute triangle. He didn’t seem to care that we didn’t order anything much. People were happy, chatting, the lights were funky and fun. Another whisper of Eden — the place you go where everybody knows your name.
So there you have a surprising tapestry woven together for me today: I got to experience a shopping ministry (finally!!), I saw a brave man looking at his very short future, I benefited from a man who planned for the future, and I found a few moments of peace in the last place I expected it.