“So see, this needs to be in ice, or it will go bad. Who is going to get some?” The speaker was Chantee, standing over some marvelous concoction which was supposed to be preserved for lunch.
A slight pause followed. Then I volunteered.
I picked up the little ice bucket and headed down the hotel corridor in sock feet. (My apologies, all you germ sensitive people out there - I know that is kind of yucky). I got to the cubby hole where the ice ought to be. Ugh, only vending machines, and a little sign that said, Ice on first and third floor. I’d go get it alright, but not in socks. I headed back to the room for some shoes, and that’s when I saw dark eyes peeking around a door jam watching me. I grinned back. “The ice is only on the first and third floor. I need my shoes.” “Oh, get in here,” Joshua took my arm and pulled me in the room, “I’m not sending you to a different floor by yourself. Give me the bucket.” And after having watched the entirety of my fruitless journey down the hotel corridor to make sure I was safe and sound, he finished off the act by getting the ice for me while I relaxed in the hotel room.
* * * * *
I come out of memory’s halls. I smile. Let me, my friend, tell you about grace...
Joshua once upon a time was a little boy, distractible, sensitive, affectionate, impulsive, thoughtless, generous beyond reason... Nothing was calculated. And so, he was the farthest thing from a hypocrite; his little intentions were made of gold. Likewise though, because of his carefree and thoughtless personality, trouble never seemed to be very far from him.
But it has taken only 23 revolutions of this earth around the sun for God to turn that little boy into a man - thoughtful, careful, focused, diplomatic, graceful in difficulty, and gifted in personal relations. He’s taken a boy that had good intentions, but could easily be led, and made a man of action that leads...
For 23 years now (as of a month ago yesterday), grace has been at work and on display. And grace isn’t done. Makes me realize that the same God that took a shepherd boy off the hills of Bethlehem and made the greatest monarch and a man after His own heart - that God is still around. And still working. And still transforming. Repeating that same transformation in my brother, and in people everywhere. And even when we look at our little broken lives and cannot see what God is doing, He is still breaking and molding and making a masterpiece with His scarred hands. And when we look back we can see His signature...
May grace more abundantly etch your new year with its signature, Joshua.
We love you.
We love you.