Several years ago, my grandmother (Gammy) and I went to the Chinese restaurant in Thomaston for an order of orange chicken...her absolute favorite. We ate our meal - which in my case took about 20 minutes, and in hers...over an hour...but I digress. After the meal, when the bill arrived, as is the custom in most Chinese restaurants...we received our fortune cookies as well.
I opened mine and read it. I don't remember what it was...so it was obviously not terribly profound. Then Gammy opened hers and asked me to read it for her. Hers said, "The sun is shining."
I kid you not.
She was not particularly pleased with this fortune and after requesting and receiving an alternative that was obviously about as meaningful as mine was, her fortune - or perceived lack thereof - became quite hilarious to us. For whatever reason...that memory has stuck with me. I can still see the room and her reaction to it. What I certainly didn't recognize at the time, though, was how profound that particular message really was.
How many times in our lives do we look for the sun to be shining? Definitely on our vacation week. After weeks of rain or gray winter days...we love to feel the warmth on our cheeks. And during other times that are far more dark and difficult...through the worst of the chemo...to the next morning when we wake alone...to profound disappointment over a failure. Our souls scream out for just a little ray of light...so that we can hold onto just a thread of the hope that comes accompanies it.
We can tolerate an awful lot of gray if we know that somewhere ahead the sun is shining. People will encourage us as they point us toward the light at the end of the tunnel, or keep cheering for us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
For some people, the sun seems to refuse to shine. And at these moments we have to hold on to our faith. We must hold on with the knowledge that one day the clouds will lift...and we will see that we've been carried through the storm because the Son is shining on our path and our life. Sometimes we may not see his presence...but we can certainly feel it.
So, tonight as I sit in a semi-clean room, with both of my children home and well, my husband snoring and with warm memories of a very special lady, I am seeing a little light ahead. Here's hoping that you are as well.
P.S. Not knowing that this would be my subject tonight...I am reflecting on the irony of what I just had to have for lunch today...Chinese food. :)