Monday, December 31, 2007

I woke up on the last day of two-thousand and seven and said to myself, “Bangs wouldn’t be a bad look on you just now.” Myself chewed on that for a minute and responded, “True. In fact, they might help soften the effect of the perm that is growing out.” Together we went to the bathroom, peered in the mirror, dug out a pair of scissors and snip-snip. Ta-da! Having pleased myself, I continued on my merry way to finish out the old year with a flourish.

Mom announced with an air of grand finality that she would like to teach me to do the budget. Her surprise was all but audible when I eagerly agreed and we met together shortly before lunch to sort out mile long receipts, organize date and input credits, debits, check numbers and memos. Housewives may gather rotten tomatoes, spoiled eggs and the slimiest leftover cabbage leaves they can find to punctuate my next statement: I enjoyed nearly every minute. The one “task” I’d been stewing over, realizing I had no experience in, and dreading. I’d pictured it so hair-pulling, nail-biting dreadful that I think even having to dance on tables with apple-crates tied to my feet would have seemed pleasant. Reconciling made such perfect sense that my dear, little brain heaved a happy sigh.

Having the laundry room right off of my bedroom has its negative drawbacks: in the form of my secret penguin friend. Following a quick knock, which I had barely digested and certainly not responded to, Nick came shuffling in, laden with an enormous bag of dirty laundry. “Just passing through on my way to the washing machine,” he beamed. I grunted, without taking my nose of my deskwork, but a moment later he was standing at my elbow, “I’ve been going through Lydia’s piano books like you suggested. Would you be willing to, maybe, give me a lesson over lunch?” I assented, desperately clutching my train of thought by the caboose as he talked on about notes, timing and hand positions. It seemed like he had hardly left before the door slid open again, “Knock, knock,” he said, cheerfully, “Just coming through to move my laundry along.” This time he showed up at my elbow with a “What are you doing?” Just a general note for future reference: if what I am doing is any of your business, I will let you know. Grumpy Abigail moment lengthens due to Nick’s incessant cheerfulness. I have to hand it to that guy: he is one of the most cheerful people I know. From the moment he rises in the morning and comes shining out to the breakfast table to the instant he bids me goodnight he is one perpetual grin. Considered by most to be a sanguine myself, I am forced to admit that I could take rejoice in the Lord lessons from Nicholas Perry. The third time he interrupts my pushup routine. For some odd reason I always feel guilty when I am caught doing pushups. Perhaps the illegality of my concealed carry—my guns—my arms? At any rate, when I headed for the shower I made sure to close both doors and put up my little sign with the “Don’t bother me I’m: Showering” emblazoned in green AND I carried all my clothes with me to the bathroom. What a selfish creature I am when little “intrusions” into my protected domain leave me feeling stripped of my dignity and privacy. Graciousness is what I’ll work on at the moment. After all, a gracious woman attains honor.

Crowding together into my parent’s room to listen to The Way of the Master’s witnessing encounters with Todd Friel is how we chose to spend our New Year’s Eve—until shortly after ten, that is, when we all retired. Several of the last people with whom Todd spoke simply baffled me: a woman who chewed him out for believing that God could be anything but all loving. “What a negative message you’re preaching,” she chided, even after her ignorance was displayed for all to see. The last was his interview with a leading atheist woman, famed for being suave, cool, collected, pleasant and a “good person”. When she came up against the “good person” test from scripture she fumed and fussed and refused to even “play that stupid, little game”.

Ezekiel brought it all together for me. After struggling to the end of the book several days ago, I picked it up again today and made a mad dash through the entire book and it suddenly made sense, boiling down to two repeated verses. God said, “You keep saying the way of the Lord is not right, when it is your own way that is not right.” The foolish atheist kept reiterating her arrogance, “IF I stand before your God on judgment day He’s going to have to do some answering to me!” She was mocking God, spitting in His face, but He is such a God of compassion that He says “I take no delight in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked should repent and live.” In a book I’d found boring and gruesome I found a glimpse of the beauty of God: So holy and righteous, and yet so full of mercy and longsuffering, not wishing that any should perish. For this reason He waits to send judgment.

Lord, the fools might spurn Thy name
But Thou remains, eternal, same
And though they try to smear Thy fame
They only bring themselves to shame.

The darkness which they seek to live
Is what Thou will most freely give
One day when they, before Thee, stand
And Thou at last withdraws Thy hand.

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