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).