Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pure Joy Pure Surprise

By B. Stuart Noll
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Sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Most of us know that this only happens once in a blue moon; except that it happen to me three times in the same day.

One day recently my wife, Debbie and I spent a delightful afternoon at Maymont Park here in Richmond, Virginia. We had a rare 4 day weekend to work with and because of the struggling economy we decided to play closer to home. Debbie loves the outdoors and gardens are one of here favorites. So going to Maymont for an afternoon was a natural but, little did I know it would wind on paper like this.

Rarely do we have an opportunity to invest quality time with each other under such fantastic conditions, weather and spiritual, that is. But it wasn't the unusual nature of this day that I write about here, although I will use some of the experiences as metaphors.

Did I mention Debbie likes to photograph nature? She catches some very unusual events too! Like the face to face meeting with Mr. Otter. (below right) I didn't expect the otter to come and have a conversation nor did I expect my wife to take advantage of the photo op! But isn't that the way most of life is? A series, sometimes, of unexpected events. Unusual in their occurrence and timing, sometimes memorialized for posterity? (Oh My Gosh)

I suppose any occurrence can be seen as a chance meeting, but for those of us who believe there are no accidents and that everything happens for a reason, you have to ask yourself how did I come face to face with an otter? Or better yet, what cause would the creator of the universe have for putting me in touch with the finest woman on the face of this earth? How did my creator, or the universe for that matter know that on June 17th Debbie would be born and eventually her path would merge with mine. Mysterious, I know, but I couldn't be more grateful!

Take a careful look at the photo of the Clematis; gorgeous isn't it? How does the creator dream that one up? And why? Such intricate design sitting in the middle of a park, obscure to all but those who desire to see it or are aware enough to even notice it.

Such is the celebration of my wife's birthday. It may come and go for her, nonchalantly letting it slip by without much ado. But, for me, I am in awe that after so much hardship in both our lives that God, infinitely wise, would bring us together. For what purpose? I do not yet know. But this I do know. I am blessed beyond description to share one single solitary moment with a women whose passion and curiosity for life outstrips anyone else I know or have known. She makes me wonder why I was chosen to be so fortunate, out of all the possibilities that God had to choose from; this is one of those unusual occurrences that I am so grateful for.

Thanks Debbie, for allowing me to be. Thank you for permitting me to walk beside you and learn from you and share your ups and downs and for sharing mine as well. But thank you most of all for being as curious as the otter and as beautiful and intricate as the Clematis. You, my lovely bride, simply inspire me!


I love you very much,