“I have something for you,” Papa dug in his pocket and produced a handful of limp dandelions. “From Sarah and John Paul.” For the umpteenth time, I miss those little ones.
“Will you blow this up for me?” Lydia handed me a foot long, narrow, blue balloon. “I’ll try,” I joked, “But it will probably make me faint.” There’s nothing like being your own prophet of doom. I huffed and I puffed and I tumbled right down. Next thing Lydia was helping me up from my bedroom floor. “Well,” she said, “you sure pass out easy.”
Papa returned Nick to campus this morning on his way to work, signaling the official end of spring break. The house seemed empty until Josh called while I was fixing supper, asking if he could join us for the evening with questions about church membership. “It don’t seem right,” he complained over a plateful of deer curry and rice. “Membership is Biblical,” Papa quietly said, hiding a smile as he watched Josh’s jaw drop. Not a sign on the dotted line sort of membership, of course, but a Romans twelve and First Corinthians twelve sort: with God placing each member into the body, just as He desired. The goal being that we should be attached to a body in order to be alive in Christ. After Lydia and I worked over a piece she’s writing, Josh showed up with a song he and Josiah had written, “The Happy Song”, which he wanted me to put to music. My favorite line, “Praise Him on the mountain top, Praise Him ‘till your eardrums pop!...And stuff.” I must admit, it made me happy. And seeing Josh try to work through hand motions for it made me laugh even harder. Apparently he missed us.
We missed a pretty powerful electric storm Saturday night. Last night we discovered that our gas was off. This morning we realized it was due to blown breakers. A blown switch in the well-house left us without water until this afternoon. All our fancy telephones received a shock that left them inoperable. We now have one old faithful corded phone plugged into the living room. Josiah reported broken light bulbs in the garage and well house. Even the local cell phone tower must’ve been taken out, since no one’s cell phones have any reception out here. The internet hook-up still hasn’t arrived, so if anyone wants to know how we’re doing, they’d better wade through the current toad-strangler and find out face to face. A monstrous tree standing sentinel between Travis’ yard and ours was lightening-stripped of his bark and left exposed for all to see—until just a few minutes ago, when he shivered, shook and splintered into several pieces. Travis had wisely moved all his equipment from underneath.
I clambered onto the dryer to pray about a whole host of things. Several reasons for my choice: First, it’s warm. Second, it’s private. Third, it has a loud buzzer to wake me up when I fall asleep. Times I am alert and passionate while praying seem few and far between—only when I’m so distressed I can’t even imagine being able to sleep. “Watch and pray,” Jesus told His disciples, “that you may not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Once upon a time, sleep was a commodity of which I needed very little. Now it seems I could sleep anywhere any time. Closing my eyes and sitting still is simply encouraging the urge. But if I go outside and run, concentration eludes me like flitting butterflies—almost within grasp, but scattering everywhere when I can almost claim them. Even when I pray aloud my words trail off into halting silence. Perhaps I need to revisit the days when I filled countless journals by simply scribbling my prayers, hoping to at least confine my wandering heart to the page. There are so many needing prayer besides myself—even in my immediate family—and I lack the discipline to kneel before my Redeemer and beg His favor on them.
Lord, I kneel upon the floor
With much to ask, more to implore.
Distractions calling out to me
Tempt my heart to turn from Thee.
Once Thou knelt and bled and wept,
Thy heart was breaking while I slept.
This flesh I bear has made mine weak.
Break it tonight. Be all I seek.