April 19, 2012Frequently in the Scriptures there is reference to "signs." Noah is given the sign of God's covenant in the rainbow that follows the flood. Abraham is given a sign. Jesus's birth is told in the words of "sign:" "This shall be a sign unto you..." Signs mark the ways of the kingdom; signs remind us of God's ongoing covenant promise. Over and over God sends a sign that we are not alone, we are loved, we are God's, and through it all, God is with us. Coming home from Mike's funeral, following a sad week, all of us were hurting. But God did not want us to feel alone or lost. Mike's brother, Jon, called with news of the sign. Here is the story: When the brothers, Mike and Jon, were little, their Mother would distract them from the monotony of the drive by challenging them to spot a yellow Corvette on the highway. (This is a game not unlike counting cows or playing Alphabet. But for a General Motors family this seems more appropriate!) Whoever spotted the first yellow Corvette got to pick the place they would stop for dinner. Evidently yellow Corvettes are relatively rare, sometimes taking a long while for one to be spotted. Not so on Jon's way home from his brother's funeral. He was excited when he called. By the time they had driven across Texas, they had already seen 4 yellow Corvettes. As we were talking, he exclaimed, "There's another one!" The sign was everywhere. This game of childhood bonding was being played now from both sides of heaven. It continued to bless. Coincidence and happenstance are not words in my vocabulary. I do not have a philosophy of the random-ness of creation. Rather, I see created order as intentional and directional. I believe God sends to us signs as means of grace, reminding us that we are not alone in our sorrow and trouble; God will not forsake us. God is near and we know it in rainbows, and a star in the East, in blue balloons and in yellow Corvettes. God offers signs of God's presence and promise that life this side of heaven is not the totality of life. There is a beyond-ness held by God that we cannot see, but can only trust. God offers a sign, a taste, a fragrance, a yellow Corvette to restore our hope and give us strength to move forward in life. May we this day be awakened to look around and see that God is good. Thanks be to God. Amen.