I got this from my mama.
I’ll rummage through the clearance aisles and I’ll look for the most neglected, damaged or left behind things in the store.
I rarely go for the item that’s marked way down as far as it can go but still not worth anything for me, nothing that I would consider complementary to my home.
I picked up this little cracked bowl, held it up and noticed the red tag, $1.79 and I began to decide if I should take it home.
I thought how I’d not be bothered by the chip on the rim, how the design was really like no colors in my room at all.
Then I remembered the insect pen and ink drawing by my son from long ago and the birds on my table, one of them a black crow.
So, I bought the little bowl and it cups the brown magnolia pods perfectly well. It’s a little thing added to the place I gaze to measure the morning’s sun, a small thing, a beautiful change.
Last night before group work out, I walked/ran. It was dark and I was alone on the track. Women playing tennis on the lighted court, people alone with their dogs walking in balance and pace. Runners ran past me in their running attire, graciously passing me thinking I’d stay in my place.
I turned up the volume and told myself, you can run too.
So, I did and then I went inside to join my work out group.
I was doing everything I could to run out my mood, to outrun its pursuit, to work the kinks of dread and worry out in an intentional sweat.
To have my hope come back, my rest, my request to not fall back into my patterns of dread.
And I was intentional like Job in my prayers and I talked to God in my car after a good and solid and rigorous workout.
Take from me these disenchanted ways. These ways of being sidelined by bad dreams that I decide will surely come true in some way.
Then I waited because I heard His Spirit say,
this will not be an immediate change, immediacy in my reply will not build the trust that should be.
Yes, this I know.
You know what happened next if you know my God.
Small shifts began to change me, good food, hot shower, soft blanket, early sleep.
Brought pleasant dreams about little babies and being someplace laughing.
We all were having cake.
My dreams are just as real and as vivid as my nightmares. Jesus, help me to know fully this truth from you.
And if the bad ones come back to visit sparked by some passing thought or something I read, I know they will not take over.
You, my Heavenly Father, will not allow it, did not plan this for me.
But if they come back to stir up memories, may the fire of the trauma be for good use not bad.
May its memory spread wide and complete like the farmer burning his entire field for a new crop.
Destroying all the old, in preparation for the very same place to grow something new.
The former crop has done what it was supposed to do, God and the farmer know it is time to yield the same harvest or maybe something totally new.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
I’m smiling now as I write this. Will my prayers bring something like useful soybeans or will my words and art look more like giant stalks of hearty corn?
Or will the works of my hands and my mind exhibit a stillness and calm, like soft amber colored wheat stalks, late summer swaying in pleasant wind?
Or will it be all of these, beneficial, nourishing as well as calming?
It is possible.
Continue and believe.
Mary Geisen wrote a similar story, one about continuing on our roads. I feel it’s a feeling so many of us have. May we all be better and more faithful because we share the brave telling of our stories.