Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quiet time found me perched on the dryer this morning. Not so much to “keep on top” of my laundry as to keep warm by virtue of the mountain I was running through that convenient machine.

My reading was cut short (which ironically, always makes me grumpy) by the entrance of Josiah and the looming importance of buying more firewood. Soon we were at our friendly, neighborhood woodcutter’s house, loading wood in the shivering drizzle, listening to his outlandish tales and watching his hyper antics and well-aimed spitting. He kept coming back to “there ain’t no girls like you around here”, etc, etc, which always leaves me feeling embarrassed and wishing to exhibit the divine attribute of invisibility. Before long it came out that his most recent relationship (not sure if they were even married) had just fallen apart and he was thinking he needed to straighten up his life (it’s pretty crooked) and start going back to church. Awkwardly, I handed him a tract with his check and we talked a bit about “religion” and Jesus and church. I knew I needed to bring it home, ask him if he considered himself a good person and launch out, but I just wanted to leave. Josiah bravely picked up the ball I dropped when I climbed in the truck and pressed him a bit harder, reminding him it’s not church that saves a man’s soul. Papa suggested we invite him out sometime and make an effort to reach out to him, especially now that he’s on his own again and expressing an interest in spiritual things. For some odd reason, the guy likes us.

Afternoon yielded an unexpected visit from Amber and her mom. They’d not been out since Judy slipped down our outside stairs and landed rather painfully on the soggy ground over Christmas break. Slowly and steadily the relationship is growing and I am coming to love and appreciate them both more and more.

Nathaniel and Lauren arrived in the early evening, carefully delivering an exuberant Grandma Lois as well as a bicycle for Lydia. I’ve not seen Grandma so upbeat in years. She laughed and talked and gushed like a completely different person. She’s been so excited about this trip she’d planned, packed and even had her car loaded days in advance. I’m so glad it worked out for her to come. Lauren brought me a couple of boxes of apple dishes—which I will be forced to store indefinitely until I either marry and need them or find someone else who is married and needs them. Why should I complain? She bought them for me, in hope, several years ago and has been patiently storing them since. Now she’s married and doesn’t need them.

As I read through the decorating of the tabernacle I was reminded of some thoughts I’d had on the topic in the past, relating to modesty. As our bodies are temples of God, and His temple was covered in hangings of linen, blue, purple and scarlet, so we should be covered—nicely, tastefully, neatly. I also found myself intrigued by the consecration of the priests: through washings, sacrifice and clothing. As a kingdom of priests, we’ve also been sanctified and set apart through similar symbols: washed of our sins through the sacrifice of God’s Son and clothed in His righteousness! Another item of note: the priests ate of the sacrifices—even as we partake of Jesus through communion in remembering His death. “This is my body—take and eat.” I’m curled up on the couch, swathed in military blankets, the lamp burning dimly as I finish up before tucking in to sleep. My heart is singing, “Behold, bless ye the Lord! All ye servants of Yahweh who serve by night in the house of Yahweh. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless Yahweh!”

Lord, how can I bless Thy name
When ‘tis Thy name that blesses me?
I raise my hands. I raise my voice.
I bubble over. I rejoice!

If I tell to everyone
The wondrous things which Thou has done,
And how Thy grace has so blessed me,
The telling is what blesses Thee.

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