Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Real Keeper

A good friend sent me an e-mail today entitled "keeper". It caused me to reminisce about my childhood and about my parents. Good memories, for sure! I'm glad I have some "keepers" in my life. I also am grateful that I have a God who is "mighty to save and able to keep".

Here's that e-mail. Enjoy!

"I grew up in the 40s/50s with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a name for it... a father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door,the oven door, the hem in a dress...things we keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence.

Throwing things away meant you knew there'd always be more. But then my mother died, and on that clear summer's night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't any more. Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away...never to return. So... while we haveit... it's best we love it.... and care for it... and fix it when it's broken...... and heal it when it's sick. This is true for marriage.... and old cars.... and children with bad report cards..... and dogs with bad hips.... and aging parents..... and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with. There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special..... and so, we keep them close!"

What "keepers" do you have in your life? I've got an old shirt, certain books I'd never part with, some old Dinky toys and some artifacts that missionaries have brought back from the "field". They are priceless! My faith is the real keeper. I often relate, when I'm speaking, that I had a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card when I was a kid but the most important "thing" I ever did was also in 1952 when I gave my life to Christ. The card is long gone but my relationship with Christ is alive and intact and, praise God, will last for eternity. Now that's a real "keeper".

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