There is a picture in my memories of me in a lake, with a black and white swimsuit with overall buckles. I’m four with bangs and gappy teeth – and I’m looking like it’s the happiest day of the summer.
Maybe it is, because after all – the Lindsay’s lake makes everything else seem far away.
It’s from that moment you get out of the sticky car, and the breeze that always blows there – picks your hair and lifts it straight up. You forget about the heat shimmering off pavement in town.
It’s from the hello hugs and sit-down-and-chat-awhile, that makes you push those other troubled friendships into proper perspective. Deep and long roots with these people make other situations fade a little.
There is just something about water and sunshine, that puts worries in their place.
And something about the memories – Mr. Lindsay telling us the water is too cold to swim, Millie and I with noodles, the lighthouse, the dinner bell, that time we took a long ride in the motor boat. I get reminiscent at the sound of horseshoes clinking and the thump of hand against tetherball. I smell BBQ and taste corn on the cob. I can even see Mrs. Lindsay feeding the leftover hot-dog buns to the ducks. There is just something comforting when you step into the cottage and smell its smell, and know there are some things that won’t change…
Except perhaps they will.
A cottage on the far end of the lake, always seemed remote and mysterious, when we were growing up. A perfect log castle in the distance. Millie and I paddled to it several weeks ago – the farthest we’ve ever been…and imagine – when we floated opposite, it didn’t seem that big, grand or impeccable, at all. A childhood imagining against the reality.
And things do change. It seems strange to me, to think of the cottage, those people, the ‘Lindsay’s Lake’ not being the same as it always has.
But there is peace with the idea too, because the memories are sweet – and no matter what lake I find myself in, the people and past shines bright on me.
Grateful to have known them. Grateful for those first happy, barefoot afternoons.
I found this today, scribbled in a notebook. I had written it a few days after our pastor moved away, so change was heavy on my mind. Funny how the capabilities and borders of change broaden in just a few weeks.
What I’d written seems a little silly and sure of itself now. I knew things could alter, but I don’t think I realized it could be so hard.
Mr. Lindsay, our ‘adopted’ grandfather in Christ, is gone now. He knew me since I was first expected and my mom stumbled down the church basement stairs, and he caught us at the bottom. He has always been here…the same house…the same seat in church…the same smile…
Change – the biggest of all changes; which we expect, but never at this time, this moment. Watching a dear person run the last part of their race.
And he was running. Grateful, hopeful, praising God to the end.
We truly rejoice for his change. He’s whole now - perfect in Christ, in the realness of Heaven and that cloud of witnesses. We couldn’t possibly wish him in this land of shadow and promises, instead of enjoying the fullness of his salvation.
The Truth is hard, but it stands. To live is Christ, but to die is gain.
Change. And what can we do?
We cry our tears, pray continually for the loneliest of those left in this world for a time. And we will not lose heart…for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweigh them all.
And in this change – even here, the God of Grace dwells.
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.