Saturday, March 28, 2009

Doin’ Life

It isn’t every day you drive home a new car, but that’s what happened in the Kidder household today. We took the bait – a super sale where we’d leased our present Honda CRV (a honey of a car). Sadly, two years isn’t nearly long enough to own a car. Cars become like family members to us. Turning it now in felt like taking a puppy to the dog shelter: unnatural. Almost immoral. But that’s what we did.

Feeling an urge to go green, we’d planned on leasing the new Honda hybrid, the Insight. I even liked the name. Steve liked the mileage. We both liked the ride, but not the price.

“Want to look at an Accord?” our favorite salesman, Mike, asked.

“Sure, why not?”

You got it. The first one we sat it called our name. Even the color, a romantic Basque Red Pearl, sounded sexy. Mileage is good, but not 43 MPG like the Insight. And it’s the basic LX model, with minimal bells and whistles. But we loved it. And the price? Just right, like Goldilocks and little Bear’s bed.

As the blue Honda CRV was driven away, we waved good-bye to a good friend, then sniffed the new car aroma of the little red pearl. This one we’ll enjoy a whole three years. After months of sadness over Susan’s illness and death, it felt good to celebrate a bit.

Even so, I’m learning life’s celebrations come in unexpected ways. Big ones, like a new baby born, or the five women who received Christ as Savior last weekend when I spoke in Clifton Park, NY, are forever recorded in Heaven. But small ones, too, evidence God’s love, things like cards of condolence from dear friends, the red flash of a cardinal darting across the road, or the smile of a friend at church tonight and her words, “I’ve been praying for you.” Love gifts from the Father’s hand.

How’s your life been lately, my friend? Why not write and tell me? Please know how much you mean to me.

His best to ewe,


Thursday, March 19, 2009

She called me “Toadie”

Not much worse than going home for the funeral of a loved one, is there? Unless it’s waiting for death, praying it doesn’t come. But that’s where we’ve been for the past month or more, waiting and praying through the extended lung infection of Steve’s dear sister, Susan. Having miraculously recovered from pancreatic and liver cancer eight years ago, Susan’s life and faith blossomed into fresh joy, amazing energy, and service for God. Best of all, she became an unfailing prayer partner to many, including Steve and me.

After Susan’s first bout with cancer, she named me “Toadie” in her funny bent for sarcasm. It stuck. Following her recovery, we began an email volley of “Toadie notes.” I named her “Weezer.” We did things like that. Notes from Susan took priority over editors in my email. Her words meant that much to me.

No one prayed or encouraged like Susan. She had little money, if any, and a life of hardship none could deny. But she seldom complained, marking instead each day’s joys. God filled Susan with Himself.

We’re certain now that Susan knew she was dying, but told no one. We all waited and prayed for another medical miracle. But none came, just a request from Susan for family to come. We left in the morning. But Susan entered Heaven that night. Glad and pain free, she ran into the arms of her Savior. What a moment! I can almost hear her shouting, “Hey, Toadie. You should see this!”

But there will be no more Weezer notes, encouragement, or prayers. Just peace on both sides of Heaven’s door. But I must admit, Steve and I, along with all the family, find the quiet side of the door lonely tonight.

Peace to you. Enjoy each day and hug the ones you love.