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Yesterday at 18

January 17, 2020

A giant number “18” was spelled out in gold balloons and a collection of massive floral arrangements dominated the lobby of the Residence.

I was signing in at the front desk, and of course chatting up the Receptionist.

I asked, and no, it wasn’t a Resident’s birthday.

Both the Receptionist and I laughingly agreed that no, we were not eighteen either.

It was the facility that had hit the magic number eighteen.

And before I could catch myself, I started blurting lines from the chorus of an old song —

Eighteen
I get confused every day
Eighteen
I just don’t know what to say

— with a loud clap the Receptionist pointed at me and shouted, “Alice Cooper!” and I think the lobby itself laughed with us.

I finished signing in, and we looked at each other in silence.

“That song,” I began. “Like now it’s the same but different.”

She gave a “Um-hm” and nodded with raised eyebrows.

“I’m sure not eighteen,” I went on, “but wow…sometimes I still get confused and still don’t know what to say.”

“Ohhhh, Pastor! Know exactly. And I mean egg-ZACK-ly what you’re talking about there.”

Our conversation went on from there, peppered with stories, commiserations and gratitude.

Had he been standing there with us, our old friend St. Paul might well have leaned over and said, Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. That’s what he wrote in 2nd Corinthians 4:16.

Gene Peterson phrased that verse this way: Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. Somebody say Amen!

Towards the end of the Alice song it says —

Lines form on my face and my hands
Lines form on the left and right
I’m in the middle
The middle of life
I’m a boy and I’m a man
I’m eighteen and I like it!

— Anybody else wanna connect this back to yesterday’s blog here, which I titled Your Current Season?

So do I.

And I’m grateful.

Very grateful that on the inside, God is making new life, and not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.

 

 

 

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