+[come]+ Advent day 2

Somewhere between the morning rumble down the winding hill to pick up provisions and the physical science at the dining table I decided to make banana bread.   Its a family favorite and it saves bananas from being trashed.   Not a big project, more of an everyday thing like loading the dishwasher.  Funny how the everyday things are what you miss when they arent available any longer.

Then I heard Joel in his study - the man whose home we are buying.  This man who now sorts his wifes desk and boxes her makeup from a bathroom drawer, who wraps her teacups and tucks her gardening tools into a brown cardboard box marked "garage".  This man who, after only being told she was sick in August, buried her in September.  Much in his life is no longer available.

I now cook in her kitchen, walk her immense flower gardens and pine rimmed trails and, at night,  make a plate for her husband.  And my family lives in her basement while her husband packs their things to move to his new home in Texas in 2 weeks.

Carolyn was her name.  I know much about her but I never met her.  I know the defining things like her profession and reputation and I know the small things like how she organized her kitchen utensils and how she planted flowers and plants to bloom in perfect succession.  I know she bought spices in bulk and that she loved the color red.

I hear Joel in his study a couple of rooms away.  Savannah is at the dining table doing Science.  Doug is downstairs working on some consulting work the Lord has Provided and Peyton is next to him working on math.  But all I can hear is Joel.

Banana bread timer wakes me from the trance.

I pour him a cup of coffee and slice a hot piece of bread then walk it in and set it on his desk.  I dont make eye contact, just put it down.  He whispers thank you.  His quiet words scream so much.

I stand in that kitchen window where Carolyn must have stood thousands of times and look out at what she tended and grew thinking of what the Lord has tended and grown in me, how He formed me and purposed my life and how I am Held and Loved.  I pray for Joel.  I pray for him to know the same.

In this home where death has recently blown through the door, new life is pushing through the soil.  I can feel it in conversations with Joel.  I can see it in my own family.

I tell Joel that "in the Hands of my great God, suffering is a very precise tool used for very precise growth."  He shakes his head.  I flashback to past years of my own life.

Through every uncertain moment Christ is at work.  Through every burial  He is creating anew.  Through every tragedy He is ready with triumph.  Through every darkness He comes with blindingly beautiful light.

Oh Come Emmanuel to this man Joel.