When I’m Old and Gray

Joy

Let it be known, my joy was found in Him.

The sound of a riding mower doesn’t obstruct the birdsong. The birds in the big high palm outside the window with my view have done their daily thing.

They’ve made sure that I have seen them before they go their way.

Off kilter because of allowing myself to go back to slumber, my mind is struggling through the mud it seems my soul is in.

Not quick to journal or to read my dailies, I just sit with coffee heavy with cream and honey.

That.

That sitting, I allow myself to see, that sort of sitting is not idle.

Sitting in slow silence with God and morning.

It is joy.

“You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The birds in the back are now excited. The lawn mower has moved to the far corner of the next door yard.

I step out to do what my mama taught. On hot days I water the plants before the sun is high in the sky and later, just as it fades.

I love the little things she gave me.

The man on the lawn mower is from one house away. He is cutting the widow’s grass perhaps unrequested. It seems an unspoken agreement that began when her husband got suddenly sick and then sooner than expected went to heaven.

We all were together in communication through texting as he grew closer to passing away.

The neighbors who are black and have two spunky twin girls and are expecting a third baby I believe very, very soon.

The mama watches out for me as I walk towards the safer place. She cautions me on the sharp curve knowing people avoiding the main road use our road as a hidden cut through.

Occasionally, the little girls will wave as they see me. Then they’ll wave again and again as if our waving towards each other is the happiest part of our days.

It always feels that way to me at least.

Excited, we are, to encounter each other. The mama and I talk about our children. We talk about our city. We talk about God. We talk about how we’re glad in a crisis that we know it’s mutual, the phone call away if we need anything.

It had been a while since I’d heard the giggling, the girls playing in their backyards on the fort their daddy built them. I hadn’t seen them at the driveway nor had I walked by and seen the mama taking care of her flowers.

I thought of walking to the back door. I’d done that before when the puppy got out or to drop off something.

I wanted to see my neighbor.

I longed for connection. Told myself, I’d stop that day, the day when most people changed their screens to just black.

Instead, I sent a message and I asked for her honesty. I asked just one question and said take your time with your answer.

I wanted to ask this of someone and I knew I could trust you to be honest.

I asked, “Have you ever felt my kindness to your family to be insincere?”

She answered that I should continue to be the person I’ve shown her, kindhearted and spiritual.

Then, she thanked me for being open minded and willing to have a candid conversation.

I felt she was thanking me to care enough about our differences of which neither of us had any control, to ask an honest question and then accept her answer.

You won’t find me joining in political dialogue. You won’t find me following the bandwagon of others. You won’t find me defending myself in an argument that doesn’t include a perspective I know.

Because none of us can ever know fully the heart of another.

Yesterday, I arrived early for grandma duty. I was worried my daughter would notice I’d been crying. I was serenaded by a song all the way down the long road before her road.

It’s a song about how I want to be remembered, to be remembered that I knew nobody on this earth had or would be able to love me like Jesus.

It’s a song about a legacy of that being enough. I’m so very far from that but so much closer to it than before.

Watering the plants this morning with the kind neighbor circling the widow’s yard, I notice the bright bloom stretching up from the grey leaves I only added to the pot on a whim. Brilliant yellow little flowers have grown from the hard soil of a given up on plant.

What good will come?

What good can come from all of this halfway through 2020 distress?

Maybe, we should change the question slightly.

What good has already come?

I pray you find all sorts of little evidences of that.

I pray you know you’ve been cared for by Jesus all the way, his faithful hand.

I pray you find your joy alone in Him. I pray it for me too.

Continue and believe.

We are one in Jesus. No one here on earth will ever love us His way, only be our example to follow.

Listen. https://youtu.be/wapXZkU-jFM

Let my children tell their children, may it be their memory.

2 thoughts on “When I’m Old and Gray

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