Monday, May 05, 2008

Tye's Story-A Spot of Beauty in a Challenging Time

100_1954 Prov. 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

My friend and I were making breakfast, with my laptop on the counter searching for names for our new addition, a puppy! He had had three names in just as many days with many suggestions by friends and family who were delighted for us to get this new little guy. Scanning through thousands of names while we tried really hard not to burn the pancakes, we came across several we found interesting. We tried each out loud, it was a lot of fun seeing how they sounded. As we scrolled through the T's, at the very bottom, at the same time, we both saw Tye. We bantered back and forth. "That's not bad.” “I like how it sounds.” “Pretty good name!" we both called out.

Immediately, my heart settled into a remembrance of an oasis-like setting in the throes of West Texas barrenness. Let me explain that a bit more! We travel in our RV, and coming across West Texas is usually not one of the prettier drives. Our often used phrase is, "There ain't nothin' in West Texas!" On our first time traveling from east to west, a

long day's travel time found us in the little bit of a spot in the road called Tye, Texas. We

would have not stopped here at all except there is a truck stop located there where we

fueled up and we had a discount at the local RV campground

there. As we pulled into the campground, trust me on this, there wasn't anything special

about it. Some pull thru sites of gravel with dead grass and trash cans at the end of each

row of sites. In a few minutes, we were set up and as good as it gets with the AC going full blast and the satellite going up for internet service.

After dinner, I took Duke, our beloved dog for a walk to stretch his legs from the long

ride. Not far from our site, I saw a well worn path and a "Fishing by permit only" sign.

That piqued my curiosity and I wondered, "What in the world would fish be doing in this

nothing part of West Texas?" Only 100 feet more, I saw the most amazing sight! Acres of pond teeming with birds, and the most incredibly huge lily pads I'd ever seen, with willows hanging over the edge reflecting their wisps of golden yellow leaves across the

water. I took a huge breath and could sense the Lord just speaking, "Take this in, the

beauty of My creation, be refreshed and renewed in this place after a hard day." I

could sense him smiling on me as I walked out to the dock

setting my camera up for a shot of an enormous lily pad.

The twilight was spent there, enjoying the evening sunset over the pond with the sound of bullfrogs croaking, birds shouting their calls and fish breaking water adding to the

beauty of the acres of water in the desert. I visited again the next morning at daybreak as I prayed and thanked the Lord for His love and provisions along the roads of life.

This past fall found us once again heading from east to west. This time, though, with

heavy hearts as our dear dog, Duke, was dying of cancer. We knew though, that the oasis of the pond at Tye, Texas awaited us. A place where we could stop overnight. I couldn't wait to see the water again, to feel God's hand of assurance as I took Duke for a short walk to the edge and gaze at the beauty of the lily pads and sunset and

experience the sounds of nature there.

It was a bittersweet time. With tears streaming down my face, and yet at the same time

taking in the sense of peace from the majesty of nature that God provided after a long day

of travel on life's road. God's oases are there in our hard travels in life. He provides

us places to find refuge in Him.

I have shared with you all of this to describe the thoughts that come to mind when

I hear the word, Tye...a spot of beauty in a challenging time.

This little puppy is like that to us. He is a gift, an oasis in an often stressful time and

season of challenge, bringing joy and happiness and wonder in each day as he becomes locked to our heart. And so, his name means more than just a sound that is easy to say and gets his attention. Tye is to me a place of wondering awe at God's provisions in the desert wasteland of our trials and journey in this fallen earth. Tye, our buddy, has been God's provision planned for us even while we were releasing Duke from our lives with such sadness. God knew that Tye would become a spot of beauty to lift our hearts and bring joy to us and so many others.

I am so very reminded that God cares so deeply for us. He is our Provider. He has chosen to call us His own and that He has plans for us...even plans for us to be spots

of His beauty and comfort to others in their trials and challenging times. Be that

spot of beauty for Jesus to a person in their challenging time.

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