he has set eternity in the human heart

[God] 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.- Ecclesiastes 3:11


FAMILY: So this is it, this is what this week with our grandchildren really boils down to; it’s all about family. It’s all about communion.

I already know this. And so do you – we all do. But sometimes it takes one of those, you know, “moments” for the substance of it to sink in.

We were sitting around our crowded dining room table, Saturday evening at Maul-Hall. It was one of those close to impromptu meals together (“impromptu” because we hadn’t really planned it; “close to impromptu” because the whole thing was pretty-much inevitable).

Our daughter, Naomi, had called to ask me to cook her favorite spaghetti before they all returned to Richmond; at the same time, my niece Hannah (my brother Geoff’s only child) and her daughter, Haley, were next door with my parents, visiting from Florida; then Rebekah’s brother Roy messaged to let us know he was stopping by on his way through….

FEAST DAY! So I said, “Well, everyone might as well come over.” So that added up to squeezing eleven around the table, and putting a little more effort into the meal and, well, making a Feast Day out of what started out as a regular Saturday evening.

We were all talking, and sharing stories, and expressing why we are grateful, and blessed, and just generally being family; the meal had the tone of Thanksgiving about it. Then I opened my mouth and told everyone how glad Rebekah and I were to be hosting, and how much I appreciated what my niece’s daughter, Haley – a third-grader – had shared.

“Thanks so much, Haley, for making me think about Geoff (my brother, her ‘pop-pop’); you really brought him to the table tonight.”

Well that’s what I intended to say. It’s what I wanted to say. But, instead, what I said was, “I’d want to thank Haley…” And then my eyes filled with tears, and I wanted so much to say my brother’s name. But I just couldn’t, and I kind of squeaked. And welled up. And the moment just hung there…

But everyone was gracious enough to wait. And I finally got it together enough to say a complete sentence; kind of: “Thanks for bringing Geoff to the table…”

COMMUNION: But isn’t that what family is? It’s about celebrating, and about remembering, and about crying together when you really miss someone, and about being thankful that there is such a thing as “The Communion of the Saints.” It’s only been two and a half years since Geoff passed away, and sometimes – surprisingly – it’s still pretty raw. But Geoff has missed this entire North Carolina thing, and I just know he’d have loved everything about this place so much.

IMG_5921Then the crowd dissipated, and we finally said our goodbyes to the Campbell family. What a joy, what a blessing, what a heart of gratitude.

Thanks, God. Thank you so much for family. Thank you for memories. Thank you for the hope of promise. Thank you for eternity…

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. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

Seriously, Lord, sometimes I can’t begin to fathom anything at all – DEREK





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s