A face book post from a childhood friend interrupts my morning—a beautiful tribute to her elderly faith-filled mom who passed into Glory two days’ before.  Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves”, writes Mason Cooley.  I stop in a moment of compassion and allow the memories to rise, and a familiar image of a younger version, childhood-friend mom emerges from the outer edges of childhood past.  She smiles, and I remember.

How often do the faith-full parents of our childhood friends dot the horizons of our childhood memories?  They appear standing at a distance—silent guardians, watching and waiting; guideposts pointing the way; some already joined with the heavenly cloud, yet still encouraging us to run with patience and endurance the race of a faith-full life.

My thoughts take a leap to our own children’s childhood friends—those boys and girls who we got to love and serve in the Spring-season of their young lives.  Some were broken; all were hurting in one way or another (aren’t we all?).  And for a brief period of time, God graced us to share in their lives as faith-full guardians—watching and waiting amidst agonizing moments and gut-wrenching prayer.

I begin to rise above myself … Could I possibly be a dot on the memory-horizon of our adult children’s childhood friends?  Is it possible that even now, more than a decade later, I linger as a childhood memory—a guidepost helping to lead, to direct, to encourage?  If true, then all of the pain, the heartache, the sleepless nights and gut-wrenching prayer can finally make sense.

In the rising, new perspective comes.  Yes, we are road signs; we are guideposts.  We are the prophet Isaiah whispering a word from behind, memories from years past, “This is the way; walk in it”.  We are memory markers that dot the horizons of a multitude of childhood memories —even as the memory of my childhood friend’s mom marks me.

This morning, compassion brings me to a stop and I rise above myself and say,I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…” (Philippians 1:3).

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