None of us fully comprehend the bigger story of peoples' lives. As pastors and laity we get snapshots. The advantage laity have over clergy is that if they live in one community for a long time they are privileged to see and know a larger part of the history of their friends and neighbors. Itinerant UM pastors promise to go where they are sent. So it is a special gift when we get to be in one place for a long time. Kim and I have lived in the same house for the past 14 years. Our four children all graduated from Service High School.
This may be a stretch but today nature presented me with a rare look at a bigger part of one story. A bull moose was following a cow moose with the drama unfolding in our yard. First up was the cow eating from our crab apple tree. Then a bull showed up and laid down ten feet from our front door. Eventually they got fairly close with the cow whining at him. It was evident that the bull wanted this cow, but I could not tell if the cow was rejecting him or playing hard to get!
Later I watched a large leafy branch get stuck in the bull's antlers. I laughed as I imagined him trying to camouflage himself as he sneaked up on the cow.
Anyway the point is that mother nature gave me a bigger view of this story being played out in my yard in Anchorage, Alaska. It made me grateful to have witnessed it, even as I realized I would not see the full story as they meandered down the street.
God knows the full story of our lives. May God grant us the vision, the heart, and the patience to listen to the stories of others.