Monday, August 20, 2007

Visitors

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This morning one of our visitors, Sabine, left!

We lingered for a few moments over our last morning coffee together before we both left the house--me for work and she to head for Niagara Falls.

I needn't have worried about her driving in Canada. When she drove home from the airport last night she was confident, competent and fast! Thank goodness the car has cruise control--the speed limits are higher in Germany.

She had little luggage to pack into the car. Because she's camping she had to sacrifice all frills to accommodate a tent and sleeping bag in her luggage. She said, "I have my back-pack and my two hands and I have to think, what can I hold?"

I thought of her words as a metaphor for life. We clutter up our lives with so much "stuff," and yet there is such freedom in traveling light.

Over our coffee she said, "Time goes fast. At the beginning I thought three weeks is a long time--but at the end of the first day I thought, it is going to go fast."

Again her words seemed true not just of a vacation but of life. We think we're here for a looong time--but it goes so fast. We need to cherish every minute and our health and strength if we have them, while we have them.

Tonight after supper, Brenda and the girls sat with us and our remaining visitor, Uncle John, and told stories about one another with much giggling and many protestations.

"No! You can't tell that story," said Victoria, more than once, her eyes dancing with mischief, her hand covering her mother's mouth--and then she'd relent.

Then I asked the girls if they would play the duet that they learned for their piano recital for Uncle John. He is brother to their late great-grandfather, Rev. Ronald F.T. Burston. The gift of music flows in Uncle John as it did in his brother. Both had just a few music lessons--all they needed to start it flowing.

Downstairs we all trooped and the girls sat down at their lovely piano, a gift from their other grandmother, Marilyn Adams. I never tire of hearing them play and Uncle John loved it too.

Then I prevailed on him--"Please play something for us."

He protested at first, "Oh, I haven't touched a piano for years. I only play if someone is stuck for a pianist--it's been ages since I've played."

But I persuaded him and he sat down at the piano.
As his fingers touched the keys, slightly fumbling at first, but gathering confidence and ease, he drew music from the piano with such a beautiful skillful touch.

Tiffany-Amber hovered by him, watching his fingers as he played, this man almost seventy years older than her, a minister of the gospel like his brother and with a common passion for the piano.

Beautiful, old-fashioned melodies flowed from the instrument, including one that I love--Glory for Me.

The words, by Charles H. Gabriel are so fitting this week.
1
When all my labors and trials are o'er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

CHORUS
O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

2When, by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face,
Will through the ages be glory for me.
3Friends will be there I have loved long ago;
Joy like a river around me will flow;
Yet just a smile from my Saviour, I know,
Will through the ages be glory for me.
Chas. H. Gabriel.

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