I stood beside my husband’s car and thanked Jesus that the damage didn’t look too bad. I also thanked Jesus that it wasn’t I who had done the damage. For a change.
church I grew up in, Orcas Island Community Church, was a great place for a kid. It wasn’t a big church — we had 100 people on the best of days — but they taught us well and they loved us even better.
I grew up in a quiet neighborhood, on a pot-holed dirt road, with retired people and sea creatures as my only neighbors. Well, other than my coincidentally-named friend Gretchen, who lived right across the street. Gretchen and I played together a lot, but there were times, of course, when I was left to my own devices. In those times, if I didn’t feel like playing alone, I often hung out with my elderly neighbors.
I don’t mean to complain about God and his sovereignty, but I have to admit something. I wish he’d given me a few more skills in certain areas of my life. There are, in fact, three things that I wish God had thought, “Gee, I think I’ll give her a double portion of this particular skill.” There are probably more than three, but I’m trying not to be greedy. I wish I were a better musician. I wish I could draw. I wish I could speak foreign languages.
I’m sitting outside as I write, enjoying the evening — not too warm, not too cool. Zephyr is on the grass beside me, keeping a wary eye out for mice or misplaced birds. Thankfully, the birds are also keeping a wary eye out for him. There are a few ducks on the water and I can’t help but wonder if they’re babies born and bred here this summer, or parents, now fully empty-nesters in the truest sense of the word.
Imagine this: You’re driving in your car and your cell phone rings. You don’t pick it up because you’re a safe driver. You hear the little tone indicating that a message has been left but you leave the phone alone, despite your curiosity, until you pull into the parking lot of your destination. Then, being a couple minutes early because you like to be punctual, you thumb in your fingerprint and voila! There is a message from me. This is what it says:
I remember thinking once, years ago, as I watched a friend pick up her almost-too-big-to-be-held-any-longer-child and watched him throw his arms around her neck, that you never know — it is impossible to know — when will be the last time you pick up your child in such a manner.
On one hand, I could say that the past few days have been a big disappointment. On the other hand, I could say that they’ve been a blessing. On yet another hand, I could say they’ve been more than a little bit uncomfortable. I guess it’s all about perspective. Allow me to take you back to this past Sunday.
Memories come rushing back as I sit in the waiting room while my son, Ian, gets his wisdom teeth removed. “The Price is Right” is on the television (of course), my nerves are jangling (I just signed the consent form with all those scary possibilities) and I can’t help but recollect when I got my wisdom teeth out, 32 years ago. No, I don’t recall the details, but I do remember the pain. And the name of my doctor. “Shock” is a hard last name to forget.
So last week I told you about my woeful sewing skills. And about the fact that I’m an optimist. This is part two of that sewing/optimism saga.