Friday, November 14, 2014

Strands - The Journey from Alone to Connected

As an only child, I spent a lot of my early years alone - and didn't like it.  I longed for siblings who never came, and faced the challenges of Army Brat life as the new kid in town alone, becoming very skilled at exercising diplomacy when it was evident the odds of confrontation were stacked against me.  As I grew up, I was fortunate to gain friends who became like sibling to me, but the reality of the limits of fraternity by choice hit like a hammer when one of our parents got orders and someone had to move.  Years passed, more great friendships were formed, but I still went home at the end of each day alone.  The last night of my life that I spent absolutely alone was December 19, 1989.  I remember it well because I had been sharing group sleeping quarters with a mission team from New Zealand.  That team had returned to their home and I was left alone in what reminded me of an Army Platoon bay with nothing but my thoughts, contemplating how my life was about to change on the following day when I would inherit a wife and two daughters.  A day later, I was surrounded by a new family and would never be seen as a loner nor feel that same loneliness again.  I have experienced the reality of Ecclesiastes 4 which says:

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."

The strands in our cord have now grown beyond the Lord, Luz and I with the addition  of grown children who have become our friends, along with a younger child, a grandchild, an extended family and precious friends who bring us unending encouragement and blessing.  Tomorrow, as Luz and I renew our vows, I will again contemplate how blessed I am to now have so many strands in my cord!  I thank the Lord for such rich blessings and I thank all of you who remain in my life as faithful strands comprising the rich. multi-tiered cord that has transformed me from a lonely child to a connected man enriched by a wonderful, global family!

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