It was a very warm day in Venice, and I was enjoying a delicious cup of gelato with friends on a stone bench outside St. Mark’s Cathedral. Our community chorale was waiting to sing a vesper service in this historic place. I think I just had one spoonful, and suddenly – SPLAT! One of St. Mark Square’s numerous pigeons doo dood right in my gelato! Laughter erupted, of course, as I looked sadly at a treat never to be enjoyed. I’ve never quite thought the same about gelato since. 🙂
Pigeons had been a matter of concern at my little abode, also. The noisy, filthy little critters built little condos on top of my porch. They sat under the eves of my roof and splattered all over the outer walls. Money spent to pigeon-proof my house was money well-spent. Three-inch spikes kept them from roosting under the eaves and netting on the porch roof served to foreclose on their several-storied nests. For several days they lined up on the edges of the front of the house when I came home from work, voicing their displeasure as they swooped en masse at me when I went out for the mail. Finally, they accepted their fate and moved on. I have to say, though, that I did not find the Italian cooing versions any more attractive than the Colorado ones – especially when one ruined my gelato!
Isn’t that the way with life at times? We’re in our comfort zones, enjoying a pleasant day, and along comes something which changes the course of the whole day – perhaps the whole life. We have a neat little plan all in place and – SPLAT! Well, I know you have your own stories to tell, right?
I have to admit that as this Christmas approaches, I again struggle with the realization that my life has turned out differently from my plan. My plan included husband and family and personal traditions as a result. Well, there was just one thing which which complicated my plan. It needed someone other than me to complete it. Well, Mr. Other-than-me has not shown up yet. So much for that plan. 🙁
Several years back, there was a strong trend of choosing a life-verse from the Bible. I sort of flitted from verse to verse depending on what mood I was in, or what I thought would answer my heart’s cry. Somehow, I never seemed to be as blessed by “my verse” as those around me. And then, I read the story of Daniel and was riveted by the absolute commitment of him and his friends to God. Daniel 3:17-18 tells about three men who were just about to be thrown into a blazing furnace because they refused to bow down to worship a golden idol. Here’s what they said: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (NIV)
And then, it happened! Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely no desire to be thrown into a blazing furnace. It’s just that the words, “even if He does not,” stood out to me. “Even if He does not deliver us from this blazing furnace, we will still trust in Him!” It was as if God said to me:
What if you are to spend the rest of your life unmarried? Will you still trust Me?
I’d like to be able to tell you I was like the much younger Mary in Luke 1 when the angel told her she was to be the mother of the Savior of the world. She placed herself totally in God’s hands even though she did not totally understand the impact of the words the angel spoke to her. (Luke 1:38) Scripture does not record much of the day-to-day realization which grew in her heart. My guess is that there were many tears as she daily committed herself to this incredible plan.
I certainly know it has taken an ocean of tears for me to finally accept that God has an incredible plan for me as a single woman. Along the way, I have asked God to show me how to be a contented and joyful onesome for however long that will last. Finally, I accept that the whys and why nots are not mine to understand – at least yet.
So, dear single friend – and any others reading this post – my prayer for you is what God said in Jeremiah 31:3 to His chosen people: