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There he was, running away with little in his arms, but a blessing on his head. His name was Jacob, and he had a bad reputation for being a liar and a thief; a deceiver without integrity, only seeking his own advantage. Willing to destroy any relationship to elevate himself. He could play the perfect dark and disturbed hero on a Netflix series.
My new friend sitting across from me in the coffee shop leans in to admit in a whisper, “I really don’t like Genesis. Those people were supposed to be the heroes – but look at Jacob – I just don’t get it.”
Are you a little overwhelmed with the horrors you are hearing about and reading about these days? I am. It seems every morning there is a new heartbreak, another voice of crazy shouting words of hatred and ugliness into our world. Anger marches down the street to destroy the innocent. Corrupt minds plot deception in their dark rooms. Words rip apart our relationships and diseases attack our fragile bodies. Each morning there is the newest daily dose of bad news.
"What is going on in this world of ours?" I think with dismay.
My head is in the sink, her hands in my hair, water streaming the chemicals down the drain, as I overhear her explain the meaning of her name; ‘Morning dew on orchid petals’. She is finishing a conversation with the woman who just stood up from where I now sit.
“I was the youngest of three daughters and my father named all of us. He wanted to give me the most beautiful name of all because, he said, I was the most beautiful… his favorite. Her accent holds to her Korean origins.
Sunday night, in Colorado Springs, I sat outside by a blazing fire with strangers and watched the gloriously white full moon turn the color of a blood orange in a total eclipse. It was amazing and beautiful – but it could not compare with the total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. It is one thing for the moon to have its light from the sun blocked but to watch the light of the sun disappear is a whole different thing.
Did you see it? Do you remember the slight chill in the air? Travel back with me to that week of the sun going dark – I am glad I wrote about it then.
We are all standing together in a big hole. It is deep, with slick steep sides. We can look up and see light – the blue sky above us – brilliant and sparkling. But when we look down, obscured by shadows, our eyes gradually adjust and we begin to see the ground moving beneath our feet.
It is mud; sandy and thick and wet. It is much too soft to find a solid foothold. We shift our weight, and it fills in around our ankles. Quicksand; the stuff of Tarzan movies.
It holds tightly to our ankles, gradually creeping up to encircle our calves. We lift our knees high, trying to step above the thick bone-cold mud that holds us in its grasp. We look at each other; we are in trouble.
I was afraid that it would never be that good again.
You know the feeling. That giddy feeling of happiness. Your heart beating a little faster when you were in his presence. The time of intimacy spent alone… just talking…and just hearing his voice. The comfort of being able to pour your heart out when the world stopped on its axis and started turning the wrong way around.
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A cup full and overflowing. Extravagant abundance. These are the words that fill my mind this early morning before the sun has risen. Turn out the porch light and pour a cup a coffee. The house is quiet for the first time in eleven days.
Counting. Numbers have bounced around in my brain all my waking hours these past days. How many nephews and their children can fit into which bedroom? How many to prepare a breakfast feast for? How many to reserve a table at the restaurant for? How many bowls to put out for soup?
The most important thing in our house is a little post-it note stuck to the inside of our front door. When people are coming over, that little post-it note is placed on the outside of the door so that anyone who approaches our home has no need to knock, but simply follow the directions handwritten there to “Come on in!” It is an open welcome, hopefully making all our guests feel like part of the family when they walk through the door.
This is a reminder I need right now; that this house my husband and I have built is not ours alone – it is a home that God has created through us – with the purpose of welcoming others. It is not our house; it is God’s home.
I am more than what I do. I struggle with this thought here at 2:35 in the morning. I hold Come Matter Here in my hands, my cup of maple ginger tea beside me. I try to concentrate and let Hannah Brencher’s words sink in;
“At some point, you decide to get over your fear. You say it’s time to not be afraid of whatever decisions you have to make or direction you need to take.
I look around the room as I work on managing the fear that has me awake at this ungodly hour.
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