Saturday, May 22, 2010

While the World Slept

You know how you sometimes remember something out of the blue? You hadn’t thought about it for years. Then, all of a sudden, it comes to you. It was hibernating in your memory, waiting to awaken at the slightest touch.

Aaron hadn’t thought about her since his was a boy. But he’d been thinking about her lately. He didn’t remember when he started to remember her. Or why.

She was just some girl he knew in second grade. Decades ago. He didn’t recall her name. He hadn’t seen her since second grade.

What made her memorable? She was poor. That’s all he remembered about her.

He’d attended a suburban grade school where most of the students were middle class. So she stuck out. She wore the same pale blue dress to school every day, rain or shine.

Now he wondered what happened to this poor nameless girl he met in second grade. For years and years he hadn’t given her a second thought. But now it haunted him.

He could only imagine. Where was she now? She’d be his age, if she was still alive. She probably had a hard life all her life.

You see people like that. Prematurely aged. Their face a map of their life.

How many of her classmates still remembered that sad little girl from second grade? But he remembered her. And God remembered her. Indeed, that’s why he remembered her. God reminded him.

Maybe it was his own time of life that made him reminisce. When you’re young, there is no urgency. Time is on your side. The horizon lies distant. But as year follows year, the horizon draws near–like a wall advancing to meet you.

He was sorry now that he hadn’t befriended her when they were young. And now it was too late. But even if he could go back in time, there’s only so much that one second-grader can do for another.

He thought about other desperate women on whom the Lord had shown his mercy. Like Leah, Hannah, Hagar, Rahab, and Mary Magdalene. As well as other nameless women–like the Samaritan, the Shunammite, the Syrophoenician, the hemorrhagic, and the widow of Zeraphath. Forgotten by time, but remembered by God. Lost to the world, but not to the Lord.

She, too, was forsaken and forgotten by so many of her peers. He might be the only one left who remembered–or cared. But as long as he remembered her, he could pray for her. He couldn’t pray for her by name, but God knew who she was.

So he prayed for her, that God would bless her like Lazareth. That God could take her to Abraham’s bosom. A loser in this life, but a winner in the life to come. He prayed to God to confound the wisdom of the world.

He thought about the parable of the seed growing at night. God planted and tended his garden after dark, out of sight. For the world was oblivious to the growing seed–lacking the nocturnal vision of faith. Unable to see God’s secret garden.

Aaron prayed for her every day until the day he died. And when he passed over to the other side, there she was. A seed planted in a dying world, to blossom in eternity. God took her to heaven by a quiet backstreet–while the world slept.

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