I wish I were the only person rambling… unfocused, confused… saddened, a bit lost in these moments. But there must be others. I texted a friend this morning who walked through a major storm over the weekend, agreeing that life is more serious than I’ve ever thought possible.
Another friend texted last week with words her husband had gently told her, “You don’t laugh much anymore.” Would you smile if you had endured pain most days for over a year, scheduled for multiple tests, scans, x rays? Over and over again? Yes, there are days she is full of gratitude and praise when cancer doesn’t show a new face in a new area. But laughing?
A dear friend texted this morning, “I am doing well these days, but Frank doesn’t know me now when I travel the hour to see him.” She visits him often, hoping to glimpse, just one glimpse, of sweet recognition in those blue eyes that greeted her each morning for almost 60 years.
I’m a bit unsure of what to share. Tom and I have walked through many rains; our Umbrella has always held. As Longfellow said, “into every life some rain must fall.” We somehow trust the rainbow will appear; the sun will brighten the dark skies, and you keep smiling. Continued, current family heartbreak shreds the protection you desperately hold to.
But how? and why did we survive the heavy rains? And can I do it NOW?
A writer and writer’s mentor, I admire, Cecil Murphey, opens his lectures with a question. Why do you write?… Murphey knows. As the author or co-author of more than 130 books, some best sellers, he knows. “I write to find out who I am. I’m a needy guy, and out of my need to feel appreciated, valued and affirmed, I write.” (Unleash the Writer Within) Are we so honest? I try… And so, I write to discover who I am and why I am. I write to answer the questions I ask of life. I have not posted for a month, and I suffer from not sharing with you of my need, my deficiencies.
Friday morning was perfect, after all the heavy winds of the night before. I wanted to check on one of the many bird nests newly constructed in our bushes and trees. I think we have ten currently inhabited. I had been concerned over one new nest site as it set precariously on a weak branch. Two days before I had tried to sturdy it further back. Now, as I reached the small evergreen, I moaned as four small eggs were on the ground. I gingerly placed them back in the disheveled nest; then noticed one on the other side of the tree. Picking it up, I saw that it was cracked… then, in my hand, the shell parted, and I saw a very tiny embryo of a bird.
“I know every bird in the mountain and in the Suiter’s gardens(italics mine!), and the creatures of the field are mine.” Psalm 50:11.
I cried. It was like thick gelatin, but the form of a bird lay in my hand. Why in the world would I cry over the loss of a potential bird. Tears came as I thought of all the embryos of the world aborted before the chance for life. Not birds, but human babies.
A few minutes later I received a call that my sister’s husband was near death. And I cried. When life hurts too much… when too many questions can’t be answered… when sadness explodes.
So I ask why am I sad? Why do I care over an aborted bird? Why do I cry with my sister, with friends? And then so quietly, I hear the whisper. “I am your Father, and you look a lot like me.” I smiled, no, I think I laughed. What an affirming word for my today. I know you, too, have cried these past days over a classroom of young children in Texas.
… because you look a lot like Jesus.
“As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” Luke 19: 41
I remember the words of a gentle white haired man spoken at a conference a few years ago. “People mock me often and deride my beliefs as archaic. Why would you still believe in this Jesus?” Joyfully, he shared his answer. “I would not change one thing. There is something powerful in knowing you are loved and have the privilege to love people as He loved; He has shown me how. Should it not be true, I’ve had the awesome responsibility to love people on this journey.”
… even as I ramble in the rains, drenched, sobbing, broken, I pray I always look like my Father…