I can’t control what becomes meaningful in my life and what doesn’t. Twenty two years ago I was visiting my wife in the hospital everyday. She was bravely lying down at an inverted angle with her head below her feet. The most advanced medicine for keeping the twins from making an early appearance was gravity. On the way to the hospital was a roadside cart selling fresh strawberries. I would make smoothies out of them for Julie. While we drank them I would watch the NBA playoffs to see who would eventually lose to Jordan’s Bulls. This went on for two weeks.
I thought I was just passing the time, but the time was leaving a mark. I’ve spent every May since in the emotional space of that same hospital room. Make no mistake, I love fresh NC strawberries. No better food has ever crossed my lips. I’ve yet to discover my personal limit for consuming them. But each bushel basket also contains complicated memories.
I couldn’t watch the NBA playoffs for a few years. I could always eat strawberries. Tonight I’m doing both. My wife is slouching comfortably on the couch in our own home. I got to visit with my newly minted college graduate son earlier today. We ate strawberry shortcake with my mom. Life is good. No one in my family is physically in a hospital room tonight. Thank you God. I’m going to go rinse off some strawberries.
1 Corinthians 2:12 (NRSV): Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
Lord, thank you that you are with me under all circumstances. Thank you for strawberries.
Son, Brother, United Methodist Pastor, Husband, Dad