Hmm…. Weather can surely do some interesting things overnight. Some of you are reading this with snow and ice outside of your windows, others are enjoying sunshine and surprisingly pleasant temperatures for this time of the year. Years ago when I was stationed on an atoll in the Indian Ocean called Diego Garcia, it was something of a bit of ‘island humor’ to stand in the middle of the street during one of the frequent rain storms that living exceptionally close to the Equator will produce. Trust me – this wasn’t too dangerous, as vehicles were in the minority on this island base. The rain line would literally stop in the middle of the street – and a bored Sailor or Marine could just stand there and get a partial soaking without too much effort. The results and reactions were always amusing. Like I said, Sailors are a creative bunch. We had other forms of humor for this locale too. For many years, my Grandmother would send me two flannel shirts for Christmas, without fail. No matter where I was, I knew that I would get two flannel shirts. True to form, Christmas 1987 wasn’t any different. To send a humorous thank you to my Grandmother, my roommate and I had a Polaroid® snapshot of us sitting on bicycles (remember, I told you that vehicles were a minority here) with a plainly visible large thermometer indicating a temperature of 104 degrees. At night. My Grandmother loved that picture and kept it on her nightstand for many years until she passed.
Saying thank you can sometimes take longer than we would like it to. I know this for a fact. When I was fortunate enough to attend my daughter’s wedding in California last year, the pastor who performed this all-important tradition did it in a quietly superb way of keeping the dignity of his celebration of two young people coming together as husband and wife, but doing so in a genuinely warm and sincere way that was without pretense or extravagant fanfare. I know that I truly felt fortunate to witness such a beautiful occasion with many other people that day. For this, I would like to quietly say a ‘thank you’ to my daughter’s pastor, Rev. J. Eldon Kratz of the Upland First Church of the Nazarene in Upland, California. This week’s image of a gazebo at sunset in Duck, North Carolina is my way of saying thanks for standing there and letting all of us know how truly fortunate we are to have come to know Jesus through many ways. His quiet, easy-going way stood out as a most excellent example on how to do things the right way.