As I was working in the kitchen this evening putting away groceries and starting prep work for some things I am cooking tomorrow, my grandchildren put on a movie that made me stop and watch for a few moments, and for that few moments I was a sixth-grader wearing white and black saddle oxfords with bobby sox. I remember ironing sheets, stacks of my dad’s handkerchiefs and my little sister’s dresses while I watched “American Bandstand” every evening. I would do any chore that allowed me to stay in the room with the TV set and watch Dick Clark play the latest hits and watch the couples dance. Can you guess what movie was on? In case you can’t, it was “Grease” and the scene I had to stop to watch was the dance in the gym…yes the one where they were doing the mid-fifties dances I recognized and had to laugh when the three young guys “mooned” the camera!
Then I thought of a book that we all had to study in school, “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. It begins with a line that I have heard quoted and misquoted a lot of times; “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and then continues, “it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
If you think about it that sounds like it was lifted straight out of the book of Ecclesiastes, doesn’t it? The “Preacher” says there is a time for everything and then goes on to make quite a list, and for some reason as I read it tonight I began to cry. Yes times seemed more simple when I was young and the elections didn’t seem to be so dirty, of course when you are young maybe you don’t notice so much dung being served on silver platters to people who are too blind to realize what they are being asked to digest.
Our age of innocence and the golden era of Camelot came to an end with a bullet shot from a rifle from a book depository ripping through the throat and head of our President, then more assassinations, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, the Viet Nam War, the “deep throat” scandal that two young Washington reporters unearthed and the list goes on and on. Verse 11 of chapter 3 says, “ He has made everything beautiful in its time.” So we ask, “Where is the beauty in times like those?” The second part of that verse says “He has put eternity in their hearts…” and I say to that, Yes He has because we have faith and hope that there is a better day coming and I know for a fact there is life after life…yes I said it right.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Every night when I say prayers with my mother I lay my hand on her forehead and ask God to give His angels charge over her, to protect and keep her safe. I ask that the angels stand with drawn swords around the perimeter of our property to keep anyone or anything that would bring us harm away and then I ask God to give her sweet dreams and let her wake feeling refreshed and whole again. She always says, “Amen”, and then I pat her and tell her I love her and if she needs me to “just yell and scream until I come running!” “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven…” Yes, there was a time when she put me to bed and said prayers with me. It was always, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take”, and then she told me to call her if I needed her and she would be right there. The difference in our prayers now is that I pray the part that says, “If I should die before I wake” silently because I don’t want her to be afraid of that happening the way I was when she prayed it over me as a child.
Yes I have had the best of times and I have experienced the worst of times but through it all I know that God is in control and I look forward to the eternity that He has placed within my heart. So if you are reading this as I post it tonight I say to you “Sweet dreams sweetheart, nite nite…”