Two Thursdays before Easter I was scheduled for a colonoscopy. I’m a terrible patient and the prospects of the unknowns scare me so bad that it makes the run-up to events like this almost unbearable for me. Unable to sleep the night before, I picked up my fathers little Bible that sits on a table beside his picture. The Bible was given to my dad from his minister, a going away gift to a 17-year-old on Palm Sunday, 1945. My dad kept that pocket-sized Bible with him every minute of his time in the Navy until World War II finally came to an end.
In the darkness of early morning, I randomly opened the book, page 424, the Book of Philemon, the third shortest book in the Bible, only 335 words. Verse 7 made me smile and the rest of the day was a breeze.
“For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.”
That next Thursday, just 3 days before Easter, I was working in rural northern Pennsylvania, just outside of the village of Troy. I had some time to spare, so I wandered down a stone covered road, completely at random, simply taking in the spring scenery and enjoying a little downtime on a beautiful day. As I approached a small bridge spanning a creek, I decided to park the car and take some pictures. I stood in the middle of the short span looking upstream and took some photos. An image that seemed out of place caught the corner of my eye, off the bank of the stream in a dense patch of vegetation. A wooden cross was nailed to a small tree. The wood was weather-beaten and it appeared as if it had been there for a very long time. I took a moment to say a short prayer and acknowledge to God that I was paying attention, thanking him for the moments in everyday life that bolster my faith.
I hope that you too find the signs and images of God in your life. Happy Easter.