The Meaning of Eternity

A grieving daughter discovers love is everlasting.

Posted in , Sep 7, 2011

Gloved hands laying bricks in a patio

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Two summers before Dad died, I went over to borrow something and found him sitting on his heels, mopping the sweat off his brow. He was in the middle of laying out a cobblestone patio. He gave me a grin and, sunlight in his eyes, said, “This is the last time I will ever work with cement. It’s just getting too hard.”We both laughed at his joke.

A few years ago I bought a brand-new house, and the task of landscaping fell to me. I’ve often sensed Dad’s presence as I sought to emulate his creative handiwork. This summer, the project’s been a series of cobblestone pathways and patios, like Dad’s. How many times have I, like him, set the frame and poured the cement? Sat back on my heels to mop the sweat off my brow? Squinted, sun in my eyes, at the bubble in his level? Patted the concrete into place with his trowel? How many times has a hummingbird, one of Dad’s favorites, zipped and zapped over my shoulder?

When I was a child, I struggled with the concept of eternity. Dad did his best to explain, but it wasn’t until this summer, sensing Dad’s presence in my labor and using his tools, a bird he loved at my shoulder, that I finally began to understand: God has planted eternity within us. “Forever” is in our DNA. For Dad is more than just memory; he’s alive, both in me and with God.

Dear God, help me to lovingly nurture the eternity You’ve planted within my own children so that they, like me, will know I live within them and with You.

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