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Wanderings and Wonderings
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"He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age."    Ruth 4:15
Helen Lowrie Marshall stated in a poem from her book, “A Gift So Rare”that God made everyone different, which means a replica soul will never exist of you and me. And… the glory of the creation rests on this very deviation.

Although I had preciously read that particular poem, the true meaning of the words did not come to complete fruition until having met Opal Glass, a resident at a local nursing home. Having been assigned to her as a volunteer with the goal of providing lively conversation to stimulate her brilliant mind, it took only moments to ascertain the notion that this writer was in the presence of a precious jewel who had lived life to the fullest. No matter the season, she had the uncanny ability to see gold at the end of every rainbow, and wore a smile that stretched from ear to ear, accompanied by mischievous dancing eyes.

Since her father had traveled for the government using his ability to identify mineral contents of rocks, it meant food was always on the table during the height of the depression era. Additionally, it required Opal and her siblings to adjust to as many as 9 schools each year.  

Thus, it was during these early years that Opal’s personality surfaced due to taking advantage of what each new location offered. In one particular school, she discovered an old bookcase that contained copies of all the classics, a discovery that she considered a gold mine.  

Thus, after completing each book, she would read it aloud to her siblings, carry on discussions, and even write plays that included parts for every family member. When asked her favorite of all time, she would quickly state, “The Old Man and the Sea” because the main character loved a young boy so much that he was able to survive a storm at sea that called for tenacity and ingenuity in order to return home.”

Also, her mischievous personality strongly emerged when, as a child who disliked her name, decided to change it each time she enrolled in a new school. Using the name she favored from reading classical literature as a substitute for her own, what fun she had until the school nurse had to ask her mother to pick her up from school due to illness. Busted! 

She enjoyed discussing technology, travel, music, and novels with her grandchildren. Besides reading, her hobbies included genealogy, antiques, gardening, photography, and she was an avid game player. She loved water of any kind and was a fearless swimmer. She was also a prolific writer of stories and memories of her childhood in the rural South during the Depression. She was Baptist by faith and was throughout her days a devout Christian. 

Consequently, after having spent many months in her company as a volunteer at the local nursing home, even when the pandemic hit and everything went into lockdown, she still remained my assignment, a format that meant weekly letters instead of visitations.  

Dear readers, you are now invited to enjoy wandering & wondering with Opal and using the format of over 30 thought provoking devotionals, a challenging situation that drew both of us closer to our Creator. How blessed this writer was to be chosen as the friend that would accompany God’s special jewel on the road home.  
OPAL: Precious Jewel
Each chapter serves as devotional reading material for the elderly. Click a chapter title to view and/or download.  
Dedicated to The Military