For those of you that know Charlie and Nan, that will come as no surprise. I am pretty sure Nan, in particular, can make her presence felt whenever she desires. For those not in the know, Charlie and Nan are deceased...not breathing on this earth.
But Nan was pretty confident that this would not keep her from being present with people.
I am at Rolling Ridge, a retreat center co-op thingy in which a number of churches and organizations are involved. Like Kittamaqundi Community Church and Sojourners. Nan and Charlie loved retreats, and I am embarrassed to admit that I am not even sure Nan ever mentioned being here to me (I think she did...). But Charlie talked about it.
Anyway. Nan was with me on the deck this morning. And Charlie was with me by the waterfall. Seriously.
All that being with them has me thinking about the people who make us what we are. In every life, there are a few game changers...people who alter our path for the rest of time. They are with us at forks in life's road. Elbert was the person who was with me as I moved from Southern Indiana to DC. Charlie and Nan scooped me up like a wounded animal and nursed me back to health and wellness. I wouldn't be here at Rolling Ridge, I probably wouldn't have finished seminary...I am not sure I would be married without their appearance in my life.
Charlie and Nan were the hands and feet of Christ to me. So was Elbert. These kinds of life-changers meet us in a ditch on the side of the road, or miraculously restore our sight, or tell us baffling parables to decipher. And I have made it this far with their abiding, unconditional love. They are the cloud of witnesses...saints in the flesh.
I hope I can be that life-giving presence for others...to stand beside them at the fork in the road...to help them determine the way or just to be with them in their journey.
It's who we are called to be.
Charlie and Nan would want it that way.