Sitting on a coffee table in our living are two thriving plants, one, a poinsettia, and the other, an assortment of spring flowers. So, big deal I say (and perhaps, you would too). What struck me this morning, however, was the space between that traditionally Christmas winter beauty and the other, a promise that spring weather is coming. What we don’t know for sure is the timeline of the space in between. How long will the red beauty live before the spring florals take centre stage?
That thought got me measuring other things; the distance between my first lap around the walking track and the finishing lap. Sometimes that distance doesn’t seem significant; other times, my arthritic knees beg to cut it short (thankfully I rarely give into those pleas). When I really hurt, I measure the distance from here to the next solid line across the lanes, or, the distance between where I am from the start of the last lap. Mostly the space doesn’t matter, but there are days.
Far more heart-rending is the space between the melody and words of a familiar hymn, “Amazing Grace.” The refrain is thought to be a tune crooned by negro slaves in the belly of infamous ships. John Newton, captain of one of those ships, moved from his notorious trade to a relationship with Jesus Christ. Now free from his sinister attitude toward fellow human beings, he repented and abandoned a secure profession. Renouncing his behaviour and proclaiming his testimony, he wrote: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me ….”
I don’t know how long between my birth and death but through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus.
“Am I not a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away.” (Jeremiah 23:23)