Thursday, January 19, 2006

A gift that keeps giving

At least 14 years ago, my grandmother gave me a little daily calendar, the kind that stands up on a table and has a thought for each day, and you flip it over each day. For years I have had it in my kitchen, whether I lived in Zagreb or Cakovec, Croatia, or in two different apartments and now a house in Memphis.

(Actually, one year, I remember my sister and I traded calendars, just for a change. So it was a part of her kitchen for that year, but it came back to me.)

The sayings aren't always profound or pithy, though now and then one will just hit me as just the thing I needed to hear. Or perhaps I'll read it in a way I had not before.

Three years ago today, the words on the calendar took on special meaning. It was the day of Grandmother's funeral, and the calendar she gave me said for this day, "The truest end of life is to know that life never ends." And then the biblical quotation, "Now this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

Coincidence? Synchronicity? Providence? Who knows?

Certainly a gift, one that Grandmother could not have known she was giving me 14 years earlier.

I didn't turn the page for many, many weeks after that. In fact, I was talking to a friend one day about the calendar and how I couldn't bring myself to turn the page, because this was such a connection to my grandmother, her faith, her generosity. I don't know that it was "unhealthy" grief, but I was having a hard time going on.

That very day, that calendar fell down off its shelf onto the floor, flipping its own pages! Forcing me to pick it up and go on. It had never fallen before and has not since.

Coincidence? Synchronicity? Providence? I certainly don't know.

But, then, figuring out such mysteries is not the truest end of life, is it?


Lawrence Underwood said...

Interesting and inspiring. Of course there is no such thing as coincidence in this world of our Sovereign Lord. Even the outcome of 'chance' is up to the Lord. Proverbs 16:33 'The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision if from the Lord. What a great comfort.

Melanie Morales said...

This post just gave me chills. First because of what you wrote. Second because I have some extremely special dishes of that same pattern of your piece in the picture (they were my grandmothers) and they sit on the china cabinet that was also my grandmothers that is the stained the same color as the shelf in your picture.

I have this deal with God to get my attention in a direct way when there's something I'm supposed to pay attention to - and He definitely delivered with this post!