Sun to the south hitting the bare white branches hard against the charcoal gray clouds hovering in the north. Love that sight. I was swept up in it this morning as I drove home from dropping off the boys at school. That dark cloud started throwing down tiny white pellets of snow as I got closer to home.
How does white snow fall from black clouds?
It felt like a new day. Not just another day, but a new day. A day to see things better. A day to finish what was unfinished. A day to conquer and stand up to the piles of overwhelming good things and bring them down to a filtered form of themselves that is so much smaller, and gleams in the wonder of best.
I needed a new day today.
I won't go into my week, I will only say that my bones have been distractingly sore.
"Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)
Owen read that to me this morning, all curled up in his favorite red fuzzy blanket on the couch. I laid on the floor beneath the kaleidoscope of a quilt made from my great-grandmother's hand stitched triangles and squares of cotton. Heating pad beneath my back and feet propped up on the seat of the couch. Remarkably comfortable on a cold morning.
Gracious words will heal these bones I thought...but I can't force people to give me gracious words. This is a prescription I can't fill.
Yet, I can at least give them. Why not? I packed lunches and directed breakfast. I instructed, motivated and hurried little boys to school, "let's leave early and drive slow so we don't slide on the ice," I said.
Then on the way I told them how well they would do. I told them how much I love them and how dear they are to me. I prayed for them to be helping and inspiring. I prayed over their spelling words and their Bible tests. I prayed. And Gracious words were pouring out in and around my world.
My bones are still sore, but I know that gracious words do quiet work. Words of forgiveness, gratitude, joy, reverence and peace are warming my tired flesh and creating harmony in all that God created in me.
Sometimes the prescription we need is in our own mouth. Our healing is often a Truth that needs utterance and our joy looks up to find the sun beating hard on bone white branches against the overwhelming charcoal gray. No matter how dark the clouds, the light finds a way to show me beauty and wonder of wonders, white snowflakes continue to fall from black clouds.
I sat with him, stroking his thick brown hair, running my fingers up and down his arm...long, but small at this beginning of awkward size he has reached at 10.
He was home, sick, today and asked for a movie, not just a movie though...he wanted me to watch with him.
Funny how that hasn't changed. He loves presence, feeds on touch, notices absence and craves interaction. He always has. Even as a baby, I could see his eyes look deep for connection. He was content and slept alone, but he nursed long, snuggled deep and gazed while I rocked his tired soul to sleep.
I did have a few "have to" chores, but met him in the living room as soon as I could. I wasn't snuggled up close with him. His stomach bug was more than I wanted. I was near though. Near enough to reach him once in a while and remind him he's loved.
A fever follows the interruption of a virus. He was warm. He was flushed and still. I encouraged him to enjoy quiet. To sleep some, read some, rest much...and he was ready to cooperate. No arguments to napping at all.
We lit a fire in the fireplace, the cool rain outside seemed to beg for a warmer environment inside, we needed that fire. He ate homemade cran-apple gelatin and I crunched on toasted homemade bread, and we lost ourselves in Narnia for a while.
He told me about his book, and listened while I explained a story in the book of Samuel.
We laughed a little, and twice he ran to the bathroom to free his stomach again. Each time he quietly waited while I warmed a clean washrag in hot water so he could bathe his face. He never complained, just shrugged and said, "I think I feel a little better."
I asked a lot of questions. "Do you want anything?" was repeated a lot.
I sat through an episode of a cartoon I could live without, folded laundry on the floor and brought him a glass of water.
The dishes waited. The floors still need the broom. The dust is still there and the windows are no less smudged.
In fact, if someone asked me what I did today, I'd probably say, "nothing,"
...but I wouldn't mean it at all.
A few years back I had a strange morning. A morning in which the backhand of criticism and the forehand of encouragement both took their shots. In a matter of minutes I was presented with two scenarios, I am either a poor example of protection and security over my children, or a rich one.
The wicked strut about on every side
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men. Psalm 12:8 NASB
When I read that verse Thursday morning, the first thought I had was of conflicts we are hearing about around the world. I don't care what your opinion is on the conflict; wickedness struts about ON EVERY SIDE.
It's just ugly.
The long line of pain runs down from my lower back, through my left hip and radiates through my leg: here, there, tight, loose, numb, excruciating and stiff. It's been a long couple of weeks. Sleepless nights, comfortless rest, painful living-it-out regardless. I can't stop, and I wouldn't want to. I can't find a way to sit that doesn't hurt. I can't stay on my feet 24 hours a day either.
It's improving. Chiropractor, PA at the "Care Spot" and some ibuprofen to ease the tightness in my back have all helped. Prayer from friends helps too, but I admit...
I don't think God is interested in making life pain free.
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