Monthly Archives: August 2008

The guy at the lake

He was young, 20ish, tanned, muscular, in a white tank top, sandals, and sitting with a forlorn posture looking out over the lake, chin in hands, elbows on knees. I thought about him as I passed by on my walk. Was he praying? Was he crying? Is he broke? Is his mom sick? Did his girl dump him? Something big was obviously on his mind, because as I returned to my car 45 min later, it appeared he had not moved a skosh. By his posture, I don’t think he was out there singing praises. For the half mile he was in my line of vision on the way back, I contemplated walking the 30 yards across the grass to tell him…..what? What would I say? Ask if he’s ok? If he needs anything? Just tell him I prayed for him for 2 1/2 miles? Would he be offended? Angry? Lash out? So rather than having bold “Jesus feet” I just kept walking. But I did pray for him (lame, I know – ultimate passive/aggressive). I hope he’s ok. I regret not saying anything to him. You just never know when you’re going to touch a heart, help a lost soul — but the
skeptic, untrusting side of me said :::stay back:::

I believe now I was wrong to keep walking. Maybe he’ll be there tomorrow. This is going to haunt me all night. I know there were times when my kids could have used a friendly stranger.
Tea tonight: Stash Green & White Fusion

Prayer Request

I’ve been lurking (albeit politely) at this beautiful woman’s blog for almost two weeks now. Not sure how I got to it – divine intervention perhaps. But it is the most heart-wrenching, Lord-loving, raw and honest blog you will probably ever read. This family needs your prayers. Please lift them up and know that the power of prayer is remarkable. It has been awesome to see so many people literally on their knees in cyberspace praying for this family. Don’t be surprised to see yourself wrapped in God’s arms by the time you make it through a couple of the posts. His strength is so evident in her blog.

Tea tonight: Green with citrus and ginko

The Act of Service

Many years ago, upon recommendation from a friend, Ron Burgundy and I listed to the audio book of The Five Love Languages during a long road trip to who knows where. That was back in the day of vacations. It’s a book every couple needs to read. Not that it has been the “secret” to a healthy 35-year marriage, but it certainly can’t hurt, particularly in today’s culture. I digress…

My primary “love language” is Acts of Service; running a close second is Receiving Gifts (I don’t hear that one spoken around here much). Today R talked to me in a language I could hear loud and clear. Together we washed all of the outsides of the windows, including the 25 ft tall ones, and he did 80% of the work. It’s gruelling, except it was made easier with all of those nicely trimmed shrubs :-] and the yet-to-be identified tree that allegedly needs trimming. Then he pulled up dozens of big thistles from around the pond and we filled yard bags with the harvest. Wow, that feels so good. Manicured. Pristine. Sparkly. Birds will awaken me at 5 am tomorrow – smackin’ into those transparent windows.

I pray, my friends, that your S/O speaks your language. Now that the act of service is done, s’pose I’ll get a gift next? Nah, that’s too much talkin‘ for that boy. I did get a Bomb Pop once. Maybe a Dilly Bar from DQ another time. No problem, today was plenty. “You can’t look a gift-husband in the mouth,” someone famous once said. I am so humbled, grateful and blessed for this dorky, strong, energetic, bald, sometimes-drive-me-crazy, dehydrated, did I say dorky(?), running man of God that the Lord thought I deserved to have. Thanks, Big Guy.
Tea tonight: Green with strawberries

Meaningful Dialogue, Part 2

After doing some hedge trimming of Olympic proportions this week, this conversation ensued (Part 1, in case you missed it):

R: We should cut some back from that one tree, too. [we have 8]
Me: Which one?
R: The one the branches stick out from.
Me: In the back yard?
R: No, not really.
Me: Which one?
R: The one we trimmed before. [We have trimmed 7 of them]
Me: The spruce?
R: Uh…maybe.
Me: Where is this tree located?
R: In our yard.

End of conversation. He can prune it when he finds it.
Tea tonight: Earl Grey Green

Broken and Beautiful

This is one of my favorite songs by Mark Schultz. I really love all of his songs and feel so blessed to have met and talked with him in person when he did a concert last year in Iowa during his “Mark Across America” tour for the James Fund. He is so genuine, so real, and just an awesome person. Not too shabby at song writing and singing, either! Don’t ever miss a chance to see one of his performances. I’d give anything to go see him in Iowa City next week :(

As I was trimming the hedges this week, that song just wouldn’t leave my head. You can hack away at shrubs and get rid of all of the gangly, useless branches that detract from that neatly manicured look, and no matter how deep the cut, no matter how big the “oops,” they will bounce back. Re-bloom. Re-leaf. Re-branch. Sort of like us – we get hurt and broken and violated but through God’s grace we come back. Most of the time, more beautiful, but always, with His help, stronger. We know we can depend on the strong roots and nourishment He has provided for us.

Though people are really the true testimony to Broken and Beautiful, one that reminds me every day of this is my flowering crab, or “Aunt Crabby.” Most of my plants have names. Harold reminds me of this song a bit as well. But this tree we planted was so beautiful, so perfect, until the ice storm of 2007 that made it so heavy that it split smack down the middle. A huge part of the tree was gone. Broken. Lopsided. Unable to bear the cruel icy burden cast upon it and the winds that finally brought it to submission. In the spring, we took the chain saw and finished off what was hanging there, leaving a huge scar, a wispier tree, and lots of hope that it would somehow bud and blossom again. It did. The leaves are actually a deeper green now, with a crimson gloss on the undersides. The crab apples are more bountiful, and the view from inside the house allows me to see my pond a lot better. It was supposed to happen. And it happens to all of us. Whether someone has intentionally taken a “Hedge Hog” to you, or whether it’s God’s will, it happens. I don’t remember praying for that tree, but I have certainly prayed for the brokenness in our lives and the healing that follows. The scar on that tree is tough and healed, but always a reminder that “He is the vine, we are the branches.” And as I write this in the cool Saturday breeze while sitting near that tree, my puppy, who is walking on all fours with only a barely discernible limp, is also reveling in the healing of the broken. A few days ago I imagined us burying him under that tree by now. How foolish I was to think that His plans were not mine.

Where do you see God’s healing? How has He spoken to you lately?

Tea today: Tazo Green Ginger

Heeling.

I laugh at one of my friends who always charts about how patient’s wounds are “heeling” since I’m such a stickler for spelling. I usually say something like “His dog’s here, too?” – just to get us giggling. So it’s important to note that since the Healer has come into my home once again and helped my puppy turn a big corner today, that this post is aptly titled.

I took Lucky out for his morning visit to the yard in a sling made from a pillow case, because he couldn’t walk. He was so disoriented and couldn’t bear weight on his front legs. His back feet are still bandaged, and the mysteriously disappearing bandages of earlier this week are the only thing he’s eaten since last Friday. We have yet to see them digested. I did the mom/nurse thing and bathed his feet in soapy water and diluted peroxide and re-bandaged them. I brought him a bowl of fresh water and gently slid an aspirin down his throat. I decided he was just hurting all over and surely an aspirin would help. I also think he had some PTSD from being in a strange kennel last weekend. Tonight he’s SO much perkier and gingerly ate about 1/4 cup of food for me. And at one point he purposefully came to the kitchen to see what I was doing. Hooray! I’ve never been able to get this dog to heel, but God sure helped him heal. Thank you, Lord. I was not ready to let him go just yet but he was sure acting like he was ready.
Tea tonight: Young Hyson