Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Good Year

The other day, I realized I've made a couple of new friends this year, and that's always a good thing. Not just new acquaintances, but true, kindred-spirit friends.

I decided that any year I discover a new kindred spirit is a good year.

Which got me to thinking about other things that help define a year as good.

If, at least once during the year, you happen to be in the right place when someone needs a shoulder to cry on, and your eyes well up in instant compassion, then it was a good year.

If someone else held you - even just once - as you cried the sloppy, ugly, nose-running sort of sobs from the depths of pain, then it was a good year.

If you had one powerful encounter with a different side of nature - if you hiked a mountain when you usually live in the plains, or waded along a beach if your home is land-locked, or felt the scorching wind of a desert when you live in a temperate climate, or built your first snowman, then it was a good year.

If you tried something new and did it badly, (because how empty days would be if we only did things we are good at), then it was a good year.

If you did a few things that were uncomfortable, a few things that were luxurious, a few things that were sacrificial, a few things that were bold, then it was a good year.

If you read a little more of the Bible this year than last year, it was a good year.

If, at least once, you got lost in worship and forgot your needs, your worries, your agenda and simply experienced the beauty of God, then it was a good year.

There are some events so sacred, they can't happen every year: Giving birth. Speaking your marriage vows. Holding a loved one while they take their last breath. But if you cuddled one new baby, attended at least one wedding, visited one person in the hospital, then it was a good year.

I like the song "Seasons of Love," from the Broadway musical, Rent.

"525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.
Seasons of love."

I won't try to measure this year. I'm just pausing to appreciate it.
I'll rejoice that it was textured with love. Not my love (which is often cranky, limited, and needy) but Christ's love for me - and sometimes (by His grace) through me to others.

"We love because He first loved us." - I John 4:19

How about you? Was there something tender, remarkable, or unexpected that made this a good year? I pray that even if you didn't find a new kindred spirit, or hike a mountain, or give birth - that somewhere between the pages of the calendar, you saw God's love for you.


Kelli Standish said...

Wow, Sharon.
What an absolutely beautiful post.

Thank you!


Cheryl Klarich said...

I would like to echo Kelli's comment.


Sharon Hinck said...

Thanks, Kelli and Cheryl...
Last weekend (while doing yet another jigsaw puzzle) I was mulling some of the hard things of the past year, but felt like God gently brought my thoughts to those things that reminded me how precious life is.

Cathy West said...

Any year I get to hang out with great writer friends like you is a good year! Looking forward to the next time!

cathikin said...

It was a very good year. This year I discovered Shoutlife and found some amazing kindred-spirit friends, including some authors. Amazing!

Jeanette Hanscome said...

Sharon this is beautiful! Many of these things happened for me so I can say it has been a very good year. I have so appreciated seeing our friendship grow and look forward to getting to know you even more!

Have a blessed Christmas.


WayneThomasBatson said...

I got to draw blades with my Swordbrothers and Sister and serve the One True King...does it get any better?

S. J. Deal said...

I've made a few good friends this year. That makes it a pretty good year I think.


Sharon Hinck said...

Yes, indeed...
the new friendships...and the new things they've shown me about Jesus and His love...

and the old friendships that grew stronger.

Those are definitely blessings of this year. :-)

Joyce said...

Hi, Sharon -
A beautiful year - being in Bible Study with you was awesome.. going to miss those Wednesday nights. Rather sad that it is over - so glad our friendship is not...

Blessings ALWAYS!!

By the way, for anyone still looking for THE RESTORER, Northwestern Bookstore in Edina, MN finally has a Large Supply... the book is FACE OUT x 3!