On our recent trip north my wife Bobbi and I made a stop in Virginia to visit our daughter Rachel and her husband Jeff. We delivered and helped install a Christmas present that they could not take home with them on the plane in December. Now a new hammock hangs between two stately oaks in front of their 1850 farmhouse. After we saw the house they purchased last summer, Bobbi and I had the same reaction: Rachel and Jeff had a perfect spot for a hammock.
The hammock announces “you’re home” as you crunch forward on their gravel driveway. It is a welcome destination at the end of a challenging day or after hours of working in their one-acre yard. Already we’ve seen numerous photos featuring family members and friends on the hammock. And just the other day Rachel reported a special “hammock conversation” that she and Jeff enjoyed under the canopy of oak leaves.
Years ago my kids gave me a hammock that we hung between two ash trees in the backyard. It was a lovely refuge thirty-five yards behind the house where the woods began and stretched another thirty-five yards to our fence. I loved to swing gently, suspended above all the troubles of the world, listening to the squirrels chatter, the woodpeckers’ staccato rhythm, the breeze catching the top branches of the trees, and all the sounds the Lord set in motion with his magnificent creation. Many times I prayed there, or simply fell asleep with a section of the Sunday newspaper on my chest. And it was an excellent place for leisurely or important conversations.
Bobbi and I were glad to give a hammock to our daughter and son-in-law. We know they work hard; it is a visible reminder to relax and rest, so necessary for our well-being. Perhaps even more important, the hammock can be the site of many deep conversations with the Lord and other loved ones!
As a pastor I wish I could give every one of you a hammock, a serene refuge where you feel that you are cradled in the palm of God’s love, swinging gently above any worries or pain. I hope you have your own special garden or chair on the lanai or favorite bench where you walk, a place where the Lord surrounds you with beauty and welcomes you to deep, lingering conversation. I hope you have a place that helps you know it is well with your soul.
Enjoy the summer, wherever you’re hanging out!
Dr. Jeffrey A. Hosmer
North Lake Presbyterian Church
Lady Lake, FL