This story will only have meaning if you know something about me. It is this. I don’t remember dates. Even dates I should know. I have to practice my husband’s and children’s birthdates. I review them in my mind like multiplication tables. These simple facts just don’t stay in any accessible place in my brain.
If you do know me you may remember I lost my beloved sister unexpectedly in the fall. I have tried to keep in touch with my brother-in-law as best I can. But by most standards my attentiveness has been less than stellar. We text and email occasionally and have gathered at family events. I have wanted to take the time to visit just with him but between the hour drive and an especially busy schedule I have postponed arranging a time to meet over and over again.
This week I realized I had a meeting scheduled near his work. Finally, I got in touch and we arranged to meet this afternoon. We had a lovely visit. Shortly before we parted Tim said to me, “I am so happy you asked to meet me today. Today would have been our 25th wedding anniversary.” I was speechless. The fact that this overdue visit happened today amazed me. I felt we had been given a gift in our care for each other. I wonder if that is how the love of God is made incarnate in our world. We try to love each other in our imperfect way and God’s Spirit works with the little love we manage and blesses it with meaning.
You may think that today being Mary and Tim’s 25th wedding anniversary is a coincidence. I am sitting here, honestly, a little sad remembering their beautiful wedding and the love they pledged to each other that day. This was not the anniversary Tim wanted but I knew that in being able to share a meal together was consolation, not a coincidence but a Godincidence, the Holy Spirit guiding ordinary events into occasions of grace.