Saturday, September 10, 2016

I Saw Ben

Invited to join a friend at a golf outing, I stepped into my past world with David.
After all, his love for golf is what brought me into learning the game. His passion for this sport is what drove me to lessons and many years of a lot of fun watching a small ball travel in all kinds of directions.
But, it was not the sport or athletics involved that kept me interested in this game. It was the social side - spending a lot of time on a usually warm day enjoying God's green earth and beautifully manicured hills and valleys with others.
And, other golfers are always enjoyable. Even if you are having a bad day physically, somehow on the golf course, there were reasons to smile and laugh.
Now, yes, you could run into people who were miserable to be around, but even they never stole the joy golfing evoked.
Every time I get an opportunity to hold a golf club, I will find a reminder to be drawn back to David days.

As I walked into the pro shop today - searching for a visor - as locating mine at home had been fruitless - I quickly scanned the apparel and, at the same time, scanned behind the counter for an employee to help me - with a quick "do you have any women's visors?" leaving my mouth as my eyes met his. It was Ben.
Ben was one of the three pros at our golf course - Stonebridge will always be our golf course - as it was our backyard for the five final years of David's life on earth. Ben was one of the young men who knew and loved this sport - and always encouraged us with kind words and expert advice on our swings. Ben, Ryan and Kevin.
I can still see their faces in the line at the wake. I do not remember much about that evening, as I was in that blessed state of shock Our Lord allows when grieving. But, I do remember seeing the faces of these three young men - the golf pros from Stonebridge, as they came over to hug me. They evoked huge emotions - as I realized that evening that my life was forever changed at Stonebridge by seeing them.
Today, Ben and I shared another hug - the kind of hug of old friends - and he shared his new life with me - he is now married with a child and enjoying being a pro at a different golf course - and I was so grateful to see him - so grateful for this taste of Stonebridge after so many years.

It seems that Our God is big enough to be deliberate about every encounter we experience. Every day we run into people - mostly good people - but all are His people. Made in His image.
And, sometimes days later - or years later - we get a chance to see them again and develop relationships.
I believe each relationship has the possibility of being fruitful - each relationship has the possibility of evoking joy whether it is days or years in between meetings.
May God bless us to be people who bring joy and produce fruit in others lives -
"I have chosen you and appointed you to bear fruit - fruit that will last." John 15:16

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