March 13, 2008

Not only am I absent-minded enough to close one hand in a door and another in the dishwasher, but I also completely forgot about it until I stood in the garden spot, shovel in hand, wondering why in the world my hands were complaining about the work. Ah, but life gets better. Five o’clock rolled around and Lydia poked her head in to ask why I hadn’t started supper yet. Completely forgetting I’d traded days with Mom, I was sorting through papers in my desk, because nothing else needed cleaned. With a mad dash to the freezer, I produced the very thing: an extra meal I’d frozen for just such an accident and whisked supper on barely ten minutes late. Thank You, Lord! That was after managing to close my skirt in the refrigerator. I sat down to supper and my ponytail tangled with the fancy back of my chair. I think the kitchen has conspired against me.

The woods are even worse. On the warning of a jaybird, I glanced around to see several camouflaged spies, covertly watching me from the tangled shadows of underbrush. As soon as they’d detected that they’d been detected they bounded away, waving white tails as they ran. I chose to accept that as surrender and held off on pursuit.

Even my own family is secretly planning my downfall. What business is it of anyone else’s if I only sit on the very edge of my desk chair? Josiah took the situation in at a glance, decided I was on poor terms with the chair and chose to help out by separating the two of us--rather quickly. I scolded him roundly, insisting he’d hurt my elbow in a way I wouldn’t forget for the next five minutes, but he heard me giggle on his way out the door. “I knew it!” he exclaimed in triumph. “You thought it was funny!” Well, of course I thought it was funny, but as long as he knows that he’ll keep doing it. I didn’t find it funny enough to ask for an instant replay.

Perhaps the fact that I’ve spent half the day on the phone will account for my odd mood. I enjoyed pleasant conversations with several different automated voices on the Sears line. Unfortunately, computers don’t get my wisecracks. “I’m sorry. Can you repeat that?” Finally transferred to the proper store, I was politely informed that the office was closed. Dial-a-trade gets old quickly, too, so I entertain myself by trying different tones and accents when I call in. Sadly, many of my “important” calls hardly allowed for such games. The phone is hardly my favorite household appliance. I do what I can to make encounters with this beast slightly more pleasant.

Every year I try to convince Mom that planting a garden in charity to the starving insects of the world is hardly her calling in life, but every year she bravely sets out to feed our six-legged neighbors. Every year I help her dig up the ground and weed and water and pick. It’s one of those traditions that simply can’t be broken. If I ever suggested planting a garden, she’d think I’d lost my senses, and if she ever decided to let it lie fallow, I’d be checking her temperature. Today as I shoveled, chopped and did other various sorts of tilling—without the aid of a tiller—the verses about breaking up the fallow ground started buzzing through my mind like mosquitoes. Thus says Yahweh, “Break up your fallow ground and don’t sow among thorns…” Put away your idols, dedicate your hearts to Me and speak truth. Searching my heart, seeking out the idols that sit on dusty shelves in hidden places, rooting out the seeds of deceit and begging the Lord to wash my heart from all evil—breaking up the fallow ground in my heart, I hope I may bear fruit in keeping with righteousness. What a project He has taken on!

Lord, this heart is hard and dry,
Filled with roots of bitter pride.
Yoked with Thee, I pray Thou lead;
To plow this heart is what I need.

Idols ashes Thou must scatter
Soil of selfish rocks, please shatter
Send Thyself, as springtime’s rain
To sprout in me Thy Spirit’s grain.

1 comment:

mm said...

I like the choice of verse. It's been making me thing.

The chair story was funny too; I should be warned, I sit that way too.