Restored Treasure

After many attempts at photographing my refurbished ring along with Chuck's new ring, this is my best effort. I chose a deep blue sapphire to replace the diamond that is somewhere on my driveway.

It's good to have it in time for Christmas and the New Year. I'm surprised that it feels so natural. Most of the time I'm unaware that I'm wearing it. Chuck's ring is heavier, and feels more obvious to him.

We enjoyed a full house Monday for our unorthodox Christmas day. We won't be celebrating our family Christmas until much later this year, so we invited those from our family who happen to be in town, along with others, and had brunch and supper together with table games/sports on TV in between and after those meals.

That morning, I read the prayers from the Anabaptist prayer book. The introduction to prayers of thanksgiving caught my attention.

"We remember your great goodness to us, Lord. 
It was no messenger or angel
but your very presence that saved us.
(free prayers of thanksgiving)
In love and pity you redeeem us; 
you lift us up and carry us all our days."

When all is stripped away, what am I thankful for? On most days my list includes people and events, sights and smells, small and large graces that enlarge my life in some way. 

There is a goodness in recognizing the goodness around me.

But today, reading those phrases, I wanted to know...
If all those things are stripped away, am I in touch enough with the goodness of God to still be grateful, just for that?

I don't need this wedding ring to be in touch with my relationship with Chuck. The ring has never defined the relationship. It isn't more with the ring than it was without it. It is the health of the relationship which has impact. I don't need the ring to be grateful for Chuck or committed to him.

 I've been reading a novel in which characters dealt with news that they knew would change the course of their lives. We've all had news like this, both good news and bad.

Last evening, with three generations of family, we talked about knowing where we were when world events happened. My mother likely can remember World War II. My sister and I remember the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X. We remember the Apollo missions, and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. My kids remember September 11, and their younger cousins remember Hurricane Katrina, the election of Barack Obama, and the craziness of last year's election.

With a new year nearly here, I think about what could happen.
What could shape our lives this year?
Will this be a year by which we measure what was before and after?
It's kind of purposeless activity, really.
It can be a cause for unrealistic hope or despair.
Maybe it is time to be simply thankful for the presence of Christ with us.
To walk in that awareness,
to be guided by it.
Maybe it is simple.
Or maybe not simple at all,
but something that takes a lifetime to learn.


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