Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Saturday, March 14
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven … a time to be born and a time to die … a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together … (selected verses)

FAITH OF OUR FATHERS

With the help of family and friends, my garage and basement storage areas got cleaned out this fall. Several pickup loads of stuff went to the dump; a couple pickup loads went to the church garage sale; several loads went to Goodwill or the community breakfast collection of winter wear. All those discarded items once had a purpose in my life. Maybe somebody else can use them now.

… a time to keep and a time to throw away.

I’m mostly unemotional about getting rid of stuff, but I did have some separation anxiety when it came to my high school memorabilia — photos, movie stubs, dance programs, dried corsages. The high school memories still mattered enough that I had to look at each page in those decrepit old scrapbooks before hardening my heart and throwing them into the reject bin. It was time.

… a time to laugh and a time to weep.

I found a VHS tape we had made of my grandfather many years ago. He was in his mid-80s when Tom and I interviewed him for that video. Life was so different in the beginning of the 20th century when Grampy was a boy, and his stories were fascinating. But what I remember most about him is that he had a great sense of humor, so dry and self-deprecating that you just had to chuckle listening to his reminiscences. I miss my Grampy so much. I laughed at his jokes, I wept when he died, and I will never forget him. He was my hero.

… a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones.

I wasn’t keeping any stones in the basement or garage. There were a bunch of old paint cans, carpet remnants and a few ceramic tiles. No stones. But I did get rid of cans, carpets and tiles. They were like stones around my neck.

The true and solid rocks of faith were gathered up from dusty boxes — my baptismal certificate, confirmation Bible and hymnal, a blurry photo of me and my great-grandmother on confirmation day and, of course, the Grampy video. I have other Bibles, other hymnals, other family photos. None of them speaks so profoundly of faith foundations as the rocks of faith in my basement.

Dallas Cronk


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