EMPTY PAILS

EMPTY PAILS
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Last week it was the desire of my client to place flowers on the graves of special loved ones. I complied with the desire to be her accompaniment making a "cemetery date" for the Friday preceding Memorial Day.
Friday approached:
Four beautiful arrangements overflowing with color sat waiting for a transfer on the walk outside her door; gentle tokens and gestures of love from the kids.
One by one I placed them carefully in the trunk and then, with forethought to the heat, filled four ice cream pails of water beside.
The car was then prepared for my client and every considerable kindness applied for her comfort. Since my client's health is profoundly affected by weather and, since high humidity proves one of the greatest challenges, there was a wee bit of anxiety in the undertaking.
Still, it was a needful visit and one which I understood as meaningful.
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The second cemetery to the right and miles later down the road we came to the "resting place" of her loved ones. A beautiful "lodging" tucked between ranching fields sprouting with early signs of green, and a canopy of blue sky endlessly arching above us attended us.
 The cemetery suggested a quiet place of beauty, tranquility, and repose.
  She had been mowed, weeded, and favorably groomed for the commemoration of Memorial Day. Waves of red, white, and blue gently fluttered in the breeze; flags urging a patriotic appreciation to our Veterans.
Colorful arrangements adorning the markers of loved ones dotted the little country cemetery.
It really was a very lovely scene.
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But while the view was favorable, the heat was not.
The humidity was a suffocating "take your breath away" kind and the conditions didn't allow for a journey outdoors for my client.
The grave was easily identified and quickly located:
Two rows in and two stones in, decorated neatly with the flag of patriotism was the spouse of my client.
One by one the beautiful arrangements were deposited beside the gravestone and placed gently where my client's eye could see them.
She gave me the "thumbs up" signal, but rolling the window down momentarily she voiced concerns about the unfavorable dry conditions that were sure to be the ruin of the flowers in a short while.
Hmmm ...
"I've brought four pails of water and I think we'll be alright," I said in response,
"Half of the water will be poured out now and half of the water will be poured out later. Someone will see the pails and understand.
They'll make it to Monday.
You'll see."
My client gave me a questioning look but said nothing more;
 Together we went home with deep reflective thoughts of our own.
It was a memorable and meaningful day and I was grateful we had taken the time to make the visit.
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The heat and humidity kept to their task and the weekend was, indeed, a very "drying" one.
Curious about the cemetery arrangements, it was my first duty on Memorial Monday to retrieve them.
The thing that met my eye was deeply satisfying:
Empty Pails.
The flowers had survived, albeit, looking more than a wee bit weary but they had made it and my soul rejoiced upon the "find."
And in that single moment ... certain thoughts:
The most dry and arid conditions impacting our lives are tempered and seasoned by a loving and merciful God who places "pails of water" for compassionate onlookers, gently beside. Those who are paying attention are of the most gentle assistance in realizing an understood need and securing the parched soul with a timely supply.
They are of His most beautiful servants;
And they are observed.
While the duration of a difficulty cannot be known, the sustainability factor cannot be questioned. God retains and maintains the right to securing nurturing provision for His own and He is faithful.
In the end ...
The dry blossom will flourish,
The colors vibrantly attract,
And all men shall see the presence of the Lord.
Be mindful;
Empty the pails He's placed before you.
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"For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My spirit upon thine seed, and Mine blessing upon thine offspring. And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses."
Isaiah 44:3-4