“Hello, this is an important message from – Financial regarding your unsecured debt. We can help…” I hung up the phone. It might be an important message if we actually had any debt.
Mom accused me of making her bed again, this morning, but I just shrugged. I hadn’t even been in her room, yet, but a high-watered corner suggested the culprits—Lydia and Lydia. As I cleaned my bathroom, I listened in on Lydia’s dramatic reading from John, rendered perfectly from the Laundry room through the air ducts in the ceiling. Perhaps that’s not quite how I imagine Jesus’ voice, but the Pharisees nasally complaints were right on target. It’s been a bit difficult to feel as though I’m stuck in a broken record—still going through John with Amber, now into it with Lydia, and the family just started in for breakfast the other day. It must be good for me, who likes to finish. Poor Lydia discovered the meaning of anti-climactic after Renee’ and Lydia’s departure this afternoon.
My entertainment for the evening consisted of supervising Josiah’s muffin creation, while fixing supper. No one in my acquaintance uses a spatula quite to the same effect as he. “Look at how soupy it is!” he complained. “Should I add more flour?” I grimaced. “I’d recommend following the recipe.” Josiah’s spatula clattered to the counter. “Since when?” he demanded. Well, I do. Recommend following recipes. For other people.
My way has been level for some time now, and I find my prayers growing cold and stale, along with my heart. Reading the Word is easy. Relatively. Studying it is hardly difficult. But prayer is painful. Deserts always find me in the level places. My mind keeps slipping away to do other things, to busyness, to distractions and leaves me kneeling and vacant on the floor of my bedroom. Other’s words play through my mind: “My eyes are dry, my faith is old, my heart is hard, my prayers are cold”, “I struggle for tears when I pray…but You sweat blood.” Passion meets me in the peaks and valleys, but in the level places—in the deserts—I grumble against the Lord and whine for meat to eat. “Lord,” I cried today, “Just keep me focused on You! Whatever it takes!” In the very next step a pebble broke loose under my feet and went rolling—down.
Perhaps this is the very valley which I have been dreading.
Lord, the mountains give me views,
And yet, the fogs of height confuse
Sometimes it seems my way more clear,
My heart more pure, Thy hand more dear
When I am in the valley.
If this descent is where Thou lead
I’ll follow Thee with joyful tread.
Thou makes my feet like those of hinds
And proves Thyself to be more kind
When I am in the valley.
Lead me to the valley.