Hanging in my parent's entryway is a delicate cross stitching my Grandma Brown made for my mother one Christmas. It's an intricate needlework that runs the names of our entire family in a crossword pattern. Years later when Jesse arrived, Grandma added his name with pride right into the work. It's beautiful. And while it's not the cross stitch work that makes us family, it reminds us as we come and go that we are. The small town I still call "home" is a lot like that cross stitching.
If you ever been blessed enough to live in a small town you know that life in such extraordinary places is just so--knitted together in simple stitching that links us all in some way--and life is our constant reminder of our connectedness. In that same small town my junior year, the high school put on Thornton Wilder's production, "Our Town" which I have always found both odd and oddly appropriate. Often since that performance I have reflected on on particular line from the play, "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?--Every, every minute?"
This week I reflect on that as my small town had not one but two sudden deaths strike the intricately knit cross-stitch. And as I live far away from both families most directly hurt, my heart still aches for them because of the connection we all share. Not only in living in Our Town, but also in another Cross stitched connection. One that brings hope to our hurting and rest to our restlessness and peace beyond this earth's understanding. While we mourn for ourselves as we miss those gone from us, we rejoice for them who's names are written in the Cross through which we all can receive life eternal.
For the families I pray Phil 4: 7 "That the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus."