A Gift For Me On My Brother’s Birthday

Gordon and Carol – 1957

January 6, 2012 – my brother’s 55th birthday.  I’ve been thinking about him a lot today, grateful he was part of my life here on earth. He was and still is part of the weave of my life.

I wasn’t planning to go to Lake Opeka today, only running out late afternoon to pick up a few things at the store. I’ve been stuck in the house all week with a pounding head and eyes that don’t want to open. I’m feeling better on this warm-for-January, sunshiney day – the first day I’ve “lasted” all day.  “Maybe the five-minute drive to the lake will be a good idea,” I say to myself.

4:37 pm

The peach and lavender-splashed sky greets me. I am glad I came.

What follows makes it even more so, as over the next six minutes the sky morphs to this . . .

4:44 pm

As if that’s not enough . . . two more minutes, to this . . .

4:46 pm

The iced-over lake, not wanting to be left out, reflects the ever-changing color of the sky above.

I’ve seen lots of sunsets here, but never a sunset like this. I can hardly breathe. I laugh. I cry. I keep taking phtos, knowing all along I won’t be able to capture the excitement, the joy flooding through me.

I begin to wonder:

Is there something here, Lord,
you want me to see?
Something you want to teach me?

And You gently reply
“Not this time.
It’s simply a gift
to you, from me
for Gordon’s birthday.
I wanted you to see this.
I am glad you came.
I wanted you to remember
I love you.”

and tears of joy
for the beauty
mixed with the grief
and the missing.

Me . . . .
thinking about YOU
thinking about me.
This I will remember.

Immanuel, God with me
Your amazing power and love is seen all you have created


added note, as I did a little revision on this post, almost 10 years later in preparation for connecting to a soon-to-be-published post, I feel it all over again – the joy, the missing, the wonder.  The passing of time does not negate the need for this reminder. I needed this today.

God loves me
is present with me
during the hard
during the good
his presence.


Your power
and love
is seen through
your creation.

Jesus, God with us.

9 Replies to “A Gift For Me On My Brother’s Birthday”

  1. This is so lovely, I’m glad you’re revisiting it! The photos are beautiful, but this part took my breath away:

    and tears of joy
    for the beauty
    mixed with the grief
    and the missing.

  2. Hi Carol. I find such comfort gazing at the beautiful trees we have here in Michigan. In the winter, God strips them of their beautiful leaves. In the spring, God gives them back their beautiful leaves. In the summer, God continues to make some leaves even more beautiful than they were in the spring. Finally in the fall, God lets us know that he is darkening our beautiful summer leaves. The fall trees provide beauty to thousands of Michiganders who take color tour trips up into Northern MI. The leaves are dark green, firey red, orange, amber, light green and are seen mile after mile after mile. What a sight to behold!! God gives us beautiful lessons that depict of our lives through many seasons and many changes.

  3. Thanks for sharing this with us Carol. It’s beautiful…glory to God for His beauty in nature and in you!

  4. Sweetheart, Today is your birthday and you are God’s gift to me. Love your words, your awareness of God’s love for you. May we enjoy Him forever!

  5. You heard the still small voice and you stayed for the blessing; thanks for your lovely photos and impactful words. You are a treasure.

  6. OMG, Carol this is beautiful – the sunsets of course but also your thoughts and the words that expressed them. Your gift to US on your birthday – thanks so much.

  7. Beautiful words AND sunset. I think being cherished by God is transformational – even more than what He says to me, I am stunned that He said it TO me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *