This message was tacked on the cupboard in my parents’ kitchen, in my Dad’s writing. He is having a hard time right now. Macular degeneration is making reading difficult. He has always found solace in the written page, in books. It’s always been a big topic of our discussions. It’s hard trying to support your family from far away. I walk around with a certain amount of guilt on any given day. I don’t know anymore how it would be to live without it. I guess you can get used to anything, just like my Dad says you can get used to bad eyesight and hearing loss.
Vacation may be over, but I still hear the crashing of the waves, and the sound of those silly seals barking in the sun on that dock. I still feel the cool of the grass my niece insisted I lay in. I hesitated, knowing Tyler poops there, but as children will she insisted that I share the joy of the moment. And I did.
I had forgotten how the grass speaks if you listen. And it’s a language only children and God can hear and some adults who have not let go of the wonder.
I remembered how she clung to my hand during Sesame Street live, and how small my Mom felt when I hugged her, not wanting to let her go, and going to breakfast with her and sharing a plate. And I smiled when I remembered my Dad and I cleaning the fish tank, spilling water and trying to scoop fish that didn’t want to be caught. And feeding my brother ice in the emergency room.
I wonder at the strange twists and turns of life, how all of a sudden the big brother can be the weak one you be the strong one.
It’s hard to fight for your family from a distance. Hard to help when miles stretch out long, between us but I try.
But I thank God that His arms are long and they reach far and wide.
So many times it’s not the grand chorus that does me in, but the solo. The lone bird that sings, that one note ringing out when all else is silent. The one that insists that there is always hope because with God there always is. Everyone has stuff. But the key is knowing God has you and He won’t let you go.
God astounds me, because He knows when I need to know that He still has me.
He speaks in those quiet moments when we kneel in between life and everything else, when the bell tolls the hours that you may not even hear, but you can feel the weight of just the same. When we are feeling weak and crumpled and useless. And helpless.
He will never turn away from humility. “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” James 4:6
For just a moment, I wanted to touch the last remaining embers of the time treasured. I wanted to hear the laughter, feel the peace, thank Him for the joy we felt, and how He was there with us all along.
As I sank to my knees, knowing there was not one thing I could do to hold time back, I touched Heaven instead.
It’s good to be home, and it will be good to go back next time. Until then, God keeps me. Keeps us all.