Sunday, June 17, 2012

to make the withered tree bloom

The day I retired, in September,2000,was bright and beautiful;a crisp Fall day, and as I drove down I75 in Atlanta ,I could hardly contain my joy.No more 74 mile commute,no more irate customers and disgruntled employees.Free at last!!!

I had loved my job at Bellsouth Mobility but there were so many other things that I wanted to do.I wasn't sure what they were but I had some ideas. The commute was also getting to me.One day, I spent three hours in the car and I kept thinking of the days that I had left and how at 57 years ,they weren't interminable.And then the accident happened smack dab in the middle of I 75 in mid-town.Totally unavoidable and heavy in the fear of what could have happened, I decided it was time.

In the back of my mind, however, was this niggling thought:would I now just wait for the first debilitating disease ?Was that what the rest of my time would be like?A fearful thought that took no account of what God might have planned for me.

I thought of this with the beautiful, lyrical scripture reading of today from Ezekiel:

"And all the trees of the field shall know that I,the Lord,
bring low the high tree ,lift high the lowly tree,
wither up the green tree and make the withered tree bloom."Ez- 17:24

This is how it feels , my life after work.Like a blooming tree that most certainly could have withered.
But the Spirit had other plans,plans of usefulness and love.Plans for writing, travelling, family, teaching and sharing the Joy that is my walk because of the One who is my guide.

A former employee caused all of this to come together for me on Facebook the other day.I recall her with great fondness:her beautiful face, her deep love of family and her sterling work ethic.On Facebook, she was sharing the joy that she felt when she was given the opportunity to help an elderly lady put her store purchases in her car.The appreciation and yes, kisses ,she received thrilled her soul.This ,this is what retirement can be and I praise God for it.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that story brought as much happiness for you to hear as it did to me to be able to do that for that little old lady. You were a great inspiration to me while you were at BellSouth Mobility and in my life forward. I'm so glad that we reconnected on Facebook. You were always a great boss to work for and a friend after I moved on and you retired.

Thank you for your blog and inspirational writings.
Michelle Simmons

Garnette Arledge said...

Sharon, love the story; love the writing; love the comment from Michelle. Love you. Thank you today.

sharon graham said...

What lovely comments,makes my heart swell with gratitude.I love you both.