Today is a big birthday for someone very special, our oldest Thai girl, Savannah. Yay, Savannah! Happy Birthday!
That Christmas we moved from San Antonio, Texas to Illinois and were introduced to more snow than we’d ever seen in our whole lives put together.
We’d missed going to church a couple of Sundays. Holidays, unpacking and adding a new baby to the family had kept us busy. Finally, this Sunday, we bundled up our 4 little ones, ages 5 and under, and ventured out in the ice and snow in search of a church home.
Our little family of 7 almost doubled the number of attendees of the small, white, historic chapel as we walked in with snow covered boots across their creaky, wood floors. It was called the LOVE Chapel. Mike always says it with his Elvis voice.
The pastor greeted us with a look that asked, “Why are you out on such a cold day?” Then jokingly called the few who had braved the cold “the Chosen Frozen.” It was an especially cold Sunday morning with a wind chill below 0°.
We found a place to sit along a long wooden pew and opened our hymnals and sang along with the congregation.
It became very quiet, when the pastor asked us to turn to Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
Remember, this was many moons ago; long before smart phones and iPads; way back when people carried actual Bibles to church. We’d forgotten our Bibles in our rush to get out the door with 4 little ones bundled in thick socks, shoes, hats, mittens and snow suits, but thankfully we spotted one next to a hymnal further down the pew. Savannah stretched across the pew to pull it out and started the search for Ecclesiastes.
I am pretty sure we both knew were the book of Ecclesiastes was supposed to be. “Psalms, Proverbs… Song of Solomon. Wait, we’ve gone too far.” We looked again, then again with Mike’s assistance, “Psalms, Proverbs.” Then we checked the table of contents. “Yes, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.”
By this time, if a pin had dropped, you wouldn’t have heard it above the echo of the rustling pages in our Bible. The whole congregation was still; waiting for the “visitors” to find the book of Ecclesiastes. The tension grew.
Having renewed our confidence with the table of contents we looked again. “Psalms, Proverbs… Song of Solomon.” There was NO book of Ecclesiastes. Our mouths gaped in amazement. The pages of Ecclesiastes had been carefully torn out of the Bible and only a small remnant of their tattered edges remained!
Savannah and I looked at each other and started to giggle..
Then right there in the tiny, wooden, echoey LOVE Chapel we had an attack of the giggles.
It took all our strength to straighten our faces, look up at the pastor, and pretend that we’d finally found the passage. The temptation to steal glances at each other and giggles and smirks and their echoes got us again and again. It was the longest 20 minute sermon I’d ever
sat squirmed through. He, he. I don’t know what kept us from busting out laughing and rolling on the floor.
Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
Savannah, He is making us beautiful in His time and eternity big in both our hearts. I am thankful for our memories of shared laughter and I am praying that God will fill your next season with the kind of beauty and laughter that only He can give.
Your Texas Mom