He sits on the corner near the newly planted city street tree. And his dog is draped on his lap like a warm pillow—a place to lay his weary head—his troubles. The busy of the people, they’re carrying their five-dollar cups of coffee and he, he bows his head leaning closer to the warm of his companion.
And this bus ride seems to go on forever—ten hours is a long time when you are yearning for home. Cornfields are waiting patiently, ready for harvest. Clouds are rising from the valley and a flock of birds pepper the roof of a weathered black barn with green trim.
He stood on his tip toes to see his great-grandmother as her body laid in her earthly casket. He rubbed his face trying to hide the sad. And we all know the heart of a child is smaller in size, but that doesn’t mean the break is any less filled with hurt. And their tears may not be as many, but that doesn’t mean they’re not as heavy.
The anniversary card with the red rose and the words written, I love you was the card he chose as he stood alone in the sea of greeting cards. His feeble hand trembled as he opened the card to read the message inside.
How is it that tears can come so fast from an overflowing of the heart? And why is it that on some of our hardest days God places our footsteps in the paths of blessings?
But the thing about these footsteps—the seeing with our eyes—the tears that flow straight from an overwhelmed heart—grasping a blessing by reaching out to others in need— There are only so many moments that God will allow these in our lives—
And when we stop seeing, when we stop feeling, when we stop reaching out in love and giving—we stop living.
I heard a Christian author speak these words. She said, ‘I don’t want to stand before Jesus one day knowing I could have done something and I let fear or my choice to remain silent be my excuse.’
James wrote, Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14,KJV)
Peter wrote, For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (1 Peter 1:24, KJV).
And the psalmist David wrote, So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:12).
The choir sings loud Sweet Beulah Land and her great-grandson sits quietly between his Mama and Grandpa–his tiny hand cleans the water from his face. The lyrics in the song, although I have heard it a thousand times, it’s like I am hearing it for the first time, “For time won’t matter anymore.” And the pastor spoke of her 60 years of service to their church and held up the Bible she had given to him many years ago. He said she was like that. Giving. She was always giving small gifts to others.
I reach for my phone to read there is a wreck up ahead on the road we are traveling—a fatality has already been reported—someone’s husband, grandpa, daddy, son. I tell the bus driver of the detour.
Tomorrow may not come, but today is still here. And what we do today is what matters—not what we plan to do tomorrow. Because a life worth any kind of living can never be lived fully without the outpouring of giving.
And sunset comes. The old barns along the side of the road adorned with their worn tin roofs—wearing their age with grace, they disappear into the darkness. And with every mile we are aging.
All photos are copyright of author and A Beautiful Grace