Recently, I purchased this little gadget to transfer all of our VHS tapes to DVD. With my mom’s passing, we had acquired several old home videos and I wanted to be able to save them and share them with Zoe and Elsie. Apparently these videos are quite entertaining… the girls now make requests to watch “The Clements Show”!
The last tape I transferred was our wedding video. Yep, in 1999, we were still using VHS tapes! So as the tape began to play and the music filled my little home office, September 18, 1999 came flooding back. Could it be that 14 years have gone by in the blink of an eye?
I couldn’t believe all that had changed since that beautiful fall day in Pinson, Alabama. Of course, there’s the obvious… the extra ‘love pounds’ that Scott and I have both gained, the relocation of hair from Scott’s head to his chin, the fading of what little suntan I had acquired from the tanning bed… as well as parenthood and the girls (Zoe and Elsie), dogs (Rem and Gabby), and the many houses, moves, and churches that our ministry journey has taken us on.
But as I sat and watched the video (made by the super-talented George Creasman), I realized how many precious people are now dancing on streets of gold rather than the carpeted gym floor at New Covenant Fellowship. Some, of course, were expected. Three of Scott’s grandparents (Dwayne and Audrey Crossett, Jack Smyth), my maternal grandmother (Eva Hill), my great-grandmother (Mildred Clements, aka Nanny), my great aunt (Aleene Taunton)… then there were the very unexpected.
One of our precious, outgoing, beautiful students from NCF, Bebe Schiefer, who was taken way too early from us, but not soon enough for her or for the Lord. I’m sure they have had a fabulous party since her arrival!
My choir director and worship leader from NCF, who was never short on a joke or a smile, and who also officiated part of our wedding with my dad – Mike Moore. He is now God’s personal stand-up comedian!
And finally, my Momma – Brenda Lee Hill Clements. The one who wore many hats taking care of me and my 2 sisters. She was chef, maid, laundry lady, nurse, ref, chauffeur, cheerleader, and even genius (once I became a mom myself!)
There were other changes as well – marriages that have been broken, people who have moved away, and even the church we had our reception at (where Scott and I met and he served as youth pastor) no longer exists and the building is for sale.
But instead of me just breaking down and bawling my eyes out, my mind was filled with precious and pleasant memories of all those wonderful people and places. And my heart smiled.
Then ever so quietly, the Lord whispered to me, “You never know what tomorrow holds, Sarah. So whoever I have placed in your life – right now, at this very moment – love good and love hard, without expectation. Love them right where they are… like I love you.”
So instead of mourning the fact that so many of these people that I loved so dearly are no longer with me, I am thanking the Lord for allowing me to spend even just one day with them. Because just one day with any of them is better than a lifetime without. And any time I think of them, I will remember the Lord’s sweet whisper to “love the ones I’m with”.
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. – Alfred Lord Tennyson