Monday, November 19, 2007

I plinked my way through the entire Christmas Carol section of the hymnal over our lunch hour. I can’t claim it was inspiring, mood-setting, or even half-way pleasant to listen to, but I’m sure it was good practice for me. Sometimes I am honestly surprised how many of the notes I actually play correctly, and there’s very little that is more rewarding than pleasantly surprising oneself. After all, oneself is the hardest to pleasantly surprise. Poor Josiah lay on the living room floor, entreating me to continue, simply because he was lonely after being sick all day. We’re supposed to head for the flatlands of Kansas City for Thanksgiving on Thursday, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised again if we’re not under the weather and venturing only as far as the nearest Kleenex box or glass of water.

I spent the day plotting and scheming to please Papa. Suddenly it dawned on me just how lax I was being to actually pray for him. Sure, I pray for me and my relationship to him, but do I pray for him? If we’re to pray for kings and rulers and all in authority, and if the king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of God, to turn whichever way He pleases, then surely God can turn my father’s heart to me.

I managed to get the East side of the barn cleaned up the rest of the way—all the raking finished, the vines cut and the needles, vines, woodchips and leaves conflagrated. That’s my fancy way of saying that the whole project went up in smoke. Which was the goal, of course.

And supper went off smoothly. As I was eating the Mexican casserole for supper, I bit into a slightly crunchy onion and my stomach turned over. “Papa will say the onions aren’t done,” I confided to my inner being, and my inner being nodded her head wisely. But when Papa arrived home and sat down to eat, his only comment was, “tasty” while helping himself to seconds. I looked at my inner being, and she looked back at me, and we were both pleasantly surprised.

As Mom and I hashed through monetary issues of “who owes who what for what, when, where and why” I suddenly gave way to a shower of tears, watering my cheeks which, I imagine, will soon be growing a very healthy crop of rice. Embarrassed, I began to make excuses, which only resulted in Mom gushing forth in like manner. So there we sat, a twin fountain-head, bonding through the element of water. Filtered water, even. At any rate, the bonding was accomplished amid a veritable rainstorm, but the foundation that was laid is secure from ever washing away.

In fact, his writing has inspired me to again seek out my own, and I reopened “Eldenwood” today, reread what I’ve written and added in a few segments. I want to sit down and hash out this story I want to tell. There is so much truth I would put in, yet I don’t want to overdo it—already I’m thinking a sequel is in order. Desperately, passionately, I want to paint truth with the brush of fiction, so I know I must write it on my knees before a holy God who will judge my work by fire to see what will remain. May it not be burned as wood, hay or stubble, but instead be only refined as precious metal and gems.

Lord, this day was truly Thine

I’ve naught to claim, or blame or whine.

When I am weak and seek Thy face

Then you extend me all Thy grace.

And when I fill my soul with praise

Thou can take hold of single days

And make them flow in song to Thee

To glorify Thy majesty.

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