The “For Sale” sign is up on the lawn, my house inside is as clean and neat as it’s ever been in the last six years, my mother is ill, my sister is over-stressed, I missed an important deadline, and lots of small things continue to demand attention (some of them actually get it!) – but that’s how life goes, isn’t it? I confess that it’s been chaos working-its-way-toward-order, stress on the sense of chaos. The time has been too short for me to accomplish many of the things I thought were needed, worries have simmered in the background, and I’ve had one eye on the uncertain future and the other eye (what a strange and funny image that is!) on the past. I am not worried, though; it’s all working out as it should.
I’ve been tempted nevertheless to feel guilty for neglecting God in the midst of all this. But the Spirit has only quietly consoled, cajoled, invited and waited upon me. So in gratitude rather than guilt I go to the prayer nook I’ve carved out of this home that God gave me and I let all the guilt and concern dissolve in the gentle rain of God’s grace. God is truly good, and greatly to be praised and thanked!
I’m reminded of this in so many small and large ways! For instance: yesterday, as I began the two and a half hour drive home in the rain, when I realized I couldn’t keep my eyes open and my reaction time was way too slow to cope with any traffic surprises, I pulled off to the side of the road to take a cat nap, expecting to rest for only the ten minutes I usually need. I was startled awake half an hour later by a man knocking on the car window to see if I was all right. When I said I was just tired, he smiled at me, nodded, and walked back to his car in the rain and drove away. I thought about him – his kindness, his willingness to take the time from his own busyness to be sure a stranger on the side of the road was okay – and I realized how blessed I’d been, both then and so many other times, by the kindness of strangers — gentle acts of a gently caring God working through gentle people.
So tonight I give thanks for all of you gentle souls out there who in the midst of your busyness have been willing to care for people like me who only needed a reminder that “surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all my days”*– no matter what craziness or storms may be going on in or around me.
May you be blessed in whatever large or small ways you may need a blessing now. Safe journey and pleasant dreams!
*(In case you don’t recognize it, this is from Psalm 23, true in every line!)