CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a place of winter For the Years of Winter…
I first posted this on this date six years ago. I find that one of the best things about old age is getting to remember old friends, again and again…
REMEMBERED AS ONE WHO WAS FAITHFUL 5-27-17
The story is told of the little boy who was taken, quite reluctantly, to kindergarten. Later in the day, he was upset. His teacher thought it would help him if he could talk to his mother, so she called her. When the mother answered, the teacher handed the phone to the boy. “Who is this?” the mother asked. “This is your son; have you forgotten me already?” he wailed.
No one is remembered for long, unless you are a shaker or mover. We understand that, but we want to be remembered by those who know us, in whose lives we have played a part. In winter, we look at the snow that covers up the reminders of spring and summer and autumn, and we wonder. Who will remember me? Especially, how will they remember me?
Bob and Lois Teague were our neighbors in Normal, IL when our girls and theirs were little. We moved onto Fairchild Avenue, next door to each other, at the same time, the first houses either of us had ever bought. We lived side by side for six years. Bob and I did not have a lot in common, except we were both trying to raise little girls, and provide for our families, and fight dandelions, but we were good neighbors.
Years later, when we were in our mid-fifties, he called up and said something that shocked me. “I always admired you and wanted to be like you,” he said. I had no idea that he had ever felt that way.
Then he said, “But I have taken it too far. I’ve gotten cancer, too, just like you.”
Months later, when Bob was dying, he and Lois asked me to officiate at his funeral service. I made a trip to Normal to spend some last time with him. I asked him how he wanted to be remembered. “I was faithful,” he said.
Now it was my turn to admire and emulate. I wanted to be like Bob. I still do. I want to be remembered as one who was faithful.
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where life is defined by winter even in the summer!