Claire and I had just left the nursing home yesterday and were trying to get our errands done in time to have dinner before nightfall. We had skipped lunch (too busy) and still had a few lawn chores to do as well, so we stopped off at a TCBY for a cone.
There were three young adults (2 guys and a girl) sitting outside the place enjoying their frozen yogurt and as we approached we heard one of them say to his buddy, "Man, everybody knows you." The other young man replied, "Yeah, it's kinda' weird. At least, they think they know me."
At that point I stopped and looked over. "Say, excuse me; but don't I know you?"
The kids were still laughing when we walked in the building.
Later we sat at the same table outside to have our TCBY cones (sugar free peach and root beer, respectively) and reflected a bit on what it was to have been young. Claire never seems that far from her youth but mine seems an eon ago. I know I was around for basketball and football practice, drive-in movies, Turtle Waxing my '53 Chevy, for strolling down the line at high school sock hops -- but it's all quite hazy, as if I was remembering somebody else's experiences and not my own.
Maybe it's because my life had become so sordid and hopeless those last couple of years before I became a Christian that I've buried stuff pretty deep. Maybe it's because I can't really "get into" those memories that pre-date Claire.
And maybe it's because those things are, in point of fact, very long ago!
But maybe it's also because (despite all the sorrows, frustrations and difficulties that face us in our work with Vital Signs Ministries) I'm content with life -- pleased to be of service in the kingdom of heaven; delighted at my marriage/friendship with Claire; and most confident about the glorious future that awaits me.
Joking with those kids yesterday evening prompted us both to recall our youth a bit. And that was fun. But as we drove away (with sticky fingers and a lot still left to do), we were even more joyful in reflecting on how gracious God has been to us in our 38 years together.
And, if I really want to, I can still get out the Turtle Wax.