“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.” George Macdonald
With the beginning of this New Year, I suppose there are some who are doing what my wife Doris and I have been doing recently. We’ve been floating down the river of memories and on that quiet voyage little wavelets have washed back to mind so many circumstances both good and bad. Perhaps for you the reader, just the passage of one year to another calls to remembrance years and experiences long past.
Since we’ve had to clean out part of our home and re-arrange other parts, we’ve come upon pictures that take us back over 60 years to when we were married. Nostalgia almost blinds my eyes with tears as we recall when and how both of our children were born. Our daughter Monica came to us in Kentucky and our son Vernon in Brazil. Do you too remember the scrapes and joys that went along with raising your children? Perhaps your days of raising a family were tight ones financially as they were for us. Now you recall how you cut corners to make ends meet and care for each other and your children.
Then there were those high points of joy as we float down this river. You’ll recall those many times it flowed along so smoothly. Scenes come to your mind of school or university graduations, perhaps the landing of a good job. Soon after the happy moments of wedding ceremonies arrive. Add to that your memories, as Doris and I do, of the birth of grandchildren. For us that now extends to great-grandchildren—would you believe four of them?
We’ve both had to sort through boxes of files that contain so much of our professional lives. It seems as if we are destroying life itself as those boxes go into the stove or out in the garbage. What am I going to do with hundreds of sermons in Portuguese? And Doris has boxes of Christian Ed stuff all in Portuguese that she prepared and used in programs for children. You no doubt know what erasing memory is like something precious full of history that has to be discarded. For us both for an instant we remember from the days in Brazil, churches we built and the people we helped. Sometimes a little current around an eddy will trigger those memories. Mostly it feels like pouring important parts of life over a precipice; we watch the waterfalls carry it all away. Ah, it is the watching that hurts.
Along that flowing river of mission work, we encountered some swift waters and some dangerous rapids. Those times come back like the dark waters of rapids to remind us of our weaknesses and hurts. My, oh my, how I wish the waves of that river might have the power to wash away the hurt of some experiences. But there is no way to escape on this river, the recalling that brings pain again to the heart. As you read you no doubt understand us and our longings; I am sure you too have been there. The fast water of that river of memories seems to drown out the ten years we spent in Brazil; at times we wonder if those years never happened.
There is no way to take our little raft down the river of memories without wondering when and where that river will end. A dark veil covers the moment it will ceases to exist. Or will that river go with us just the same as when we close our eyes on a pillow this night. The waking the next morning will be both an end and a continuation. As for me I trust in that awakening and the serene place of that new life, all in the hands of our Eternal Creator. You perhaps believe as I do that Jesus our Lord has prepared a place where we may recall past memories and build others that will flow on and on and on.
If you wish to share memories and nostalgic moments over a cup of coffee, give me a call. Since I’m long retired, I’ll have time.
Roy C. Kenny, 613-354-6929