Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Orange Moon Tuesday, May 21, 2024 "Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…


    From our doorstep to theirs was 49 yards.  Now, our doorstep to the threshold of their new home will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,365 miles.  I refer to our neighbors and friends of 32 years, Ralph and Renee, who left today to live with their son in Rhode Island.  We grieve at their departure, give thanks for so many moments of blessing, and look forward to an eternity with Ralph and Renee in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

   I met Ralph in 1992 while doing yard work at our new home.  He approached me to introduce himself, welcome us to the neighborhood, and offer any help we might need in getting settled in.  We met Renee soon thereafter, whose kindness and hospitality also made us feel as if we have come to the right place, at the right time.  We certainly had, and Ralph and Renee have long been a wonderful confirmation of God leading us to spot on earth that has been our home for so long.

   I could chronicle many stories and many moments of Ralph and Renee serving as gifts of God to us, and to our entire neighborhood.  One that I love to share regarding Ralph involves a blessing he often conferred on the sanitation men who picked up our garbage in the days before animated trucks did most of the heavy lifting.  During hot summers, Ralph often met the men as they approached his house with cold soft drinks to refresh them in their hard and sweaty work.  They loved Ralph, of course, and treated his garbage can with the utmost care and regard.  How could they not, when so kind and generous a heart tried to find a way to make an honest and necessary profession just a little bit easier.  "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men" (Galatians 6:10).

    As for Renee, stories of her kindness abound.  One that recently occurred concerns a gift she gave to me as she and Ralph began to pare down their belongings in preparation for the move.  Renee presented me with a copy of Hans Christian Anderson's children's fables.  I opened the book, and turned "accidentally" to the story, "The Ugly Duckling."  The moment took my breath away.  Renee did not know that I have been working on a book by that title for six years, which addresses the believer's newness of being in Christ, and our necessity of knowing it.  To make the volume all the more special, the copy of Anderson's fables had belonged to Renee's mother.  For some reason, she deemed that I should have the book, which will always be a treasured gift as the expression of Renee's lovingkindness, and its timely confirmation of the project mentioned.  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).

    The stories and blessings involving Ralph and Renee living 49 yards away could go on and on.  Now, however, the narrative has come to its end.  We said our sad farewells this past Sunday, and expressed our assurances that eternity will again reunite us in Christ and His heaven forevermore.  They will.  A perfectly faithful Heavenly Father will ensure that, and His promise that together "so shall we ever be with the Lord" will come to pass (I Thessalonians 4:17).  We are grateful for that, and so very thankful that in this life we were honored and blessed to know Ralph and Renee, to be amazed by the grace with which they so blessed us, and to have lived for 32 years…  49 yards away.  Godspeed, Ralph and Renee.

Godspeed, as you go.

May He keep your heart.

And guide your feet

to your home, to your home…


Godspeed, we will miss

your heart and your face.

For both shine ever so brightly

with His grace, with His grace…


Godspeed, 'til we meet

in time or forever.

And one day, we will see

His face together…



Weekly Memory Verse

    "Thy gentleness hath made me great."

(Psalm 18:35)


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