Treasured Moments

As the old Gaither song goes, “We have these moments to hold in our hands and to touch as they slip through our fingers like sand…”  Saturday night the words came to life for me when Richard and I attended a Bill Gaither concert in Ontario, CA.  The treasured moment came when tenor, David Phelps began to sing ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’  Richard squeezed my hand and whispered, “Remember?”  I did.

With the first notes I was transported over space and time to a white clapboard church in Troy, NY where my hand rested in the hand of my 22-year-old groom as we exchange lifetime vows before our pastor and friend Sunny Liu.  I again felt the air waves vibrating against my face as his rich tenor voice filled the sanctuary. “Our Father, which art in heaven…”

Again I heard the the power of the church’s pipe organ.  I could see multi-colored dabbles of light from the stained glass windows splashed across the gathering of friends and family.  I could see the glimmer of light interplay on the gold and sage green satin worn by our female attendants.  I paused to glance down at the gown I sketched on lined note paper that Mom made without a pattern in one months’ time.  I imagined seeing Richard and my moms and dads in the front row, beaming up at us, knowing full well that on the morrow we would be heading west across the vast continent to school in California.

Since that day, the raven pompadour sported by Richard is restyled in a white buzz cut.  My hand clasped in his, is now dotted with age spots interspersed among the wrinkles.  My lithe, agile body moves a little slower now and there’s more of it.  So much has changed: Our pastor–gone!  Richard’s brother and best man–gone!  Both of our moms and dads-gone.  The organ–gone; the stained glass windows-gone; the oak pews-gone;  the carpet–gone.  The church itself–demolished to make way for a new generation.

Mr Phelps sang “Give us this day, our daily bread–” more than enough.  “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”–there’s a lot forgiven in 50 years of livin’, a lot of joy too.  Lost in the moment, I swallow hard and wipe a tear from my cheek. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”–always faithful, even through the bad times.  “Kingdom, power, glory… forever.”

As the promises for our tomorrow wash over me, I squeeze Richard’s hand.  I see tears in his eyes and know he’s thinking the same thing.  Sure, during our 50+ years so much has changed and so much no longer exists but we can hold still onto to our Father’s promises.   “Forever, amen!” (Matthew 6:9)

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