Great Moments

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dear Linwood Friends,

Last Friday morning Jan and I were in a family waiting room outside surgery at Beaumont Hospital in Detroit.  Jan’s mom was having an outpatient procedure on her eye.  It was not a dangerous procedure, but anything having to do with your eyes is anxiety provoking.  It seemed that this surgical area of the hospital specialized in ophthalmology and a number of the patients were young children.  There were numerous gatherings of parents, grandparents, and friends grouped together throughout the room.  I watched a number of times as surgeons came out to give families the news.  As far as I could tell all of the reports were good.

I was struck by one rather large group that seemed especially pleased with the news from the surgeon.  A little later the young parents came out carrying a child that could not have been more than a few months old.  There was practically applause when the baby, who obviously had been the patient, rewarded the faithful with a smile.  We also received a good report from the surgeon, and about an hour later were driving out of the hospital complex and headed to my mother-in-law’s home in Sterling Heights.  As we pulled into traffic I found myself thinking that we had moved from a place filled with drama, where good news and bad news is being delivered every few minutes, to a place where most of the people were in the midst of the usual routine of their lives.  We were moving from a place where events would be etched upon people’s memories forever, to a place where most of the day would be quickly forgotten.

As a pastor I often found myself moving between those two worlds.  I would conduct a wedding, sharing in a moment that would be remembered by this couple for the rest of their lives, and then I would go home to a wife who had perhaps been doing the laundry or driving the kids to a soccer game.  I would lead a memorial service, sharing with a family a moment filled with an amazing mixture of grief and hope, and then go home a cut the lawn, or toss a ball with my sons.

Which are the most significant moments?  The moments of joy and dedication?  The moments of healing?  The moments of grief?  Or, the ordinary moments that consume so much of our days?

The answer, of course, is that ALL of them have the potential of great significance, because the Lord is in the midst of them all.  And He designed life to contain all seasons – moments of high drama and moments of great “commonness.”

My concern – and something I would encourage you to ponder as well – is that we seem to want to resist the fact that life is composed an amazing array of seasons, emotions, decisions, and situations.  There are those who try to level out everything, depriving themselves of the highs and depriving themselves as well of the lows.  Then there are those who think that everything needs to be intense and wind up wearing out themselves and everyone around them (and missing the real highs and lows as well).

What season are you in?  And, how can you best embrace that time and honor the Lord’s presence within it?  Is it a time of celebration?  Jesus is laughing with you!  Is it a time of grief?  Jesus mourns with you.  Is it a time of calm and peace?  Jesus makes such times full and deep.  Is it a time of struggle and pain?  Jesus knows what it is like to agonize over what needs to be done.  Is it a time of success and victories?  Jesus knows how we can be eternal winners!

Hope you can join with us this Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel for an evening service of prayer.  I promise that it will be special hour that will be over far too quickly.  There is no service Sunday morning.

Blessings on you all,
Hu Auburn
Linwood Park Pastor

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