April 14th, 2016 by Carl Buffington
To reminisce means: to indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events. Just remembering then, I surmise, can be enjoyable or not. Even the bad times, moments, events, decisions, etc. now after 23 years on April Fool’s Day, can evoke a smile from me.
I am so thankful.
So I reminisce.
I moved here in Lent of ’93 leaving Barbara with Peter, AJ, and Whitney in the Colorado cold to finish school. For a bunch of weeks Col. Ken and Jenny Smith opened their guest room to me, and Ben Pilla loaned me a car that had suffered severe hail damage and had the dimples of a golf ball all over.
Over the years so many have come and gone. I often wonder, future reminiscing, about a reunion one day in the heavenly Jerusalem. Part of the true heartache of ministry is saying "goodbye” and even harder is not getting to say it for a number of reasons.
And then there are those who have been here before my time.
What I have learned over these years is that faithfulness, hanging in there with our Lord and His people works! It transforms those who live it. I can look at the picture above and hear in my head, “My, how you have changed.” And I can respond to myself, “Yes, and I am so thankful.” (Not as happy about the aging change, and wonder why God included that in His plan. He didn’t have to you know). It is still the same me, but I have changed and that is the result of faithfulness, yours, mine, and His.
Barbara and I have experienced the loss of 4 dear friends and relatives this week. So part of my reminiscing has been painful. I caught myself being out of sorts, irritable, snappy, and somewhat cynical. Part of my change is that I caught myself sooner this time than the time before. But loss and grief are not to be ignored.
When the phone rings at 11 p.m., you can guess it’s not good news. Bill Brockett’s voice on the other end — and I knew, but certainly didn’t expect it. “June passed tonight.” June was one of my heroes. Faithful. Always fighting. A wonderful warrior. A true friend. I can say I’m happy for her and for the communion of saints, but what a hole she has left in mine, and so many hearts!
I reminisced about the days when she was doing prayer ministry in the office. Always up to something! What a treat to minister with her and listen to her talk to her Abba. As I left Bill's home while morning it was still very dark, I imagined her saying,“Oh, Fr. Carl, it is soooo good.” And then I thought I could hear her chuckle and sensed her smile.
Someone shared this week how the “community” at New Covenant had recently ministered to them in a profound way. Thank you, Lord. It works! Hanging in there with our Lord and His
people does change us, transform us more and more into the image of His Son. I am blessed beyond measure to have witnessed and experienced that faithfulness these years with you all!