Friday, March 27, 2009

Peace to All Who Enter Here

Bill and Lu were our first new friends on Maui. They are the kind of people that you just want to be close to--warm, accepting, open and engaging. Lu is caring, supportive and thoughtful. She has a bright mind, a lively personality and a lovely way with words, able to say even difficult things in the most gracious way. I am always in awe of her well-chosen words --they are like salve on wounds and gentle rain on a hot day. Best of all, Lu laughs a lot and never takes herself too seriously.
Bill is her perfect counterpart. He's a doctor with a true healing gift, and just his presence is calming and reassuring. He is extremely wise, well-read, perceptive, and intelligent. He knows so much about so many things, and yet he listens respectfully to any point-of-view, and is patient and compassionate with the weaknesses of people. He also sings beautifully, and has been the backbone of my husband's worship team for 15 years.
Their people skills are off the chart, so naturally they are both popular and well-loved. But to us, they are more than all that. They are also the people who have given us our most precious Maui memories.
Twenty-something years ago, they built a beautiful cottage by the sea in Keanae, on the rugged north shore of Maui, the wild and untamed side. It has been a place for their family escapes, but in their legendary generosity, also the place of numerous adventures, get-aways, spiritual retreats, and marriage seminars for most of their Maui friends. They have kept a journal of all the comings and goings thru the years, and the only real payment they require when you stay is to log your visit with a few of your reflections on being there.
We spent our last two days in Keanae with them, poignant and emotional, we cherished every moment of the time. Looking back thru the journal, we came across so many sweet remembrances. Among them one that made us laugh: our most memorable Mother's Day when Joe and Bill created Kafe Keanae for Lu and I. They made a menu out of a paper sack, devised a gourmet breakfast from leftovers, and serenaded us on the front lawn.
We also looked at Joey's frequent posts, tangible proof of his good life, the evidence of his physical existence that we now cherish. In them he extols Keanae, his favorite place on earth, and his family, his friends, and our numerous adventures in this wild place. He praises Bill and Lu for their generosity because he knew what a privilege he'd been given to be a recipient of their repeated hospitality in that special place. Being there, Joe and I could breathe in Joey's spirit, feel his mana everywhere, and touch the place that he loved best. Like a flashing slideshow in our minds, memories of so many beautiful days in Keanae came back, filling us with longing and hunger for our son, but also bathing us with comfort.
So to Bill and Lu, such beautiful, generous, enduring friends, we speak our deepest gratitude. We love the sign you have on your wall: Peace to all who enter here. Thank you for creating and sharing a place of peace for us, for your overflowing generosity that enabled it all, for your journal that documents it, for the healing influence over the lives of so many, especially us.
We love you so.
Aloha and a hui hou.

Peace to all who enter here

The Lanakila many moments of worship and sweet communion with people we love.
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Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matt. 7:24


Liza on Maui said...

"Peace to all who enter here" - yes that is so true to that hale in Keanae. And as you already know - I love the Keplers so much - how you described Bill and Lu on this post is so true, and same is true with their kids and their family. All of them are so wonderful! In fact they are in my thankful list this week (and so are you :)

Jeri said...

Bill & Lu are a very special couple and you described them so amazingly well. A wonderful way to wrap up your last few days on Maui.

Much love!!!

lorensaved77 said...

I can not stop the tears flowing down my face right have such special friends such as these and to be loved so much, I'm sure makes it even that much harder to leave, but we all know you will be back for visits, and I sure hope I will get some Karen and Joe time on that return!
Blessings to you both on your new adventure, to experience all the Season's of weather, and mostly to be close again to your family!
You will be missed, always loved, and always welcomed back!
Love you guys,see you in a couple hours to give one last hug, not for goodbye, but for see you real soon!