Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Great Story in the Forever Afterwards

I’d love to know how what I do has affected others. I’d love to hear how some letter that I wrote to someone gave them the courage to text an old childhood friend. And that childhood friend might have been praying for a sign about whether to take a particular job or not. And this seemingly random phone call prompted them to stay put in their current job, discontent as they might have been. And as a result of staying put, they met their future spouse and led half a dozen people to the Lord.

It’d be nice to know.

But I realize that I’d be tempted to give myself credit for this wonderfully synchronized chain of events, or perhaps think the eloquence of my writing was the source of the power to make such influential changes, when in fact my letter might have only kept that certain someone from their usual TV show and because the TV show was skipped they decided to sort through old family photos and in the photos was a picture of the aforementioned childhood friend. The driving action might’ve stopped there save for a sermon preached the previous Sunday where a pastor told a story about how he’d recently contacted an old childhood friend and found him divorced and bankrupt. And in recollection of this story in the middle of sorting through family pictures, that certain someone picked up a phone and contacted the childhood friend.

But seeing as things are in this life, I’ll never know what events and seemingly random happenstances caused the saving of souls or the first meetings of future spouses or the forgiveness needed within a family or the courage to do something beautifully sacrificial. I’ll not know this side of Heaven because I am stuck behind blind eyes that see only what relates to me, and besides, I haven’t the time to discover all the details of what happened to others. I’m not discouraged because of this. Because even if I were to ask others the right questions to learn how magnificently woven together our stories are, the people I would ask probably wouldn’t remember all the details themselves. Our very mortal minds fail us.

But I have hope in the forever afterwards when our minds will remember and our time will allow for us to discover the grand story again and again and again in every person’s life, in their friendships and vocations and spouses and children and homes. And when I hear of the grand story, I won’t even be slightly tempted to give myself credit. Rather, I will marvel at how Providential it was that God made me love to write. How marvelous that He gave me this hobby that I can’t help but do lest I explode!

But until the forever afterwards, until I can do such, thank God for authors because when we can't imagine how all this mess must work to something beautiful, we have the attempts of authors to show how it might. These artists weave together imaginary characters, events, places, and things to make something grand occur. I love what they do. And I marvel at how the Great Author’s story will be even more fabulous than this.

I’ve recently put up a collage of pictures on my living room wall. I meant to display beautiful moments throughout my married life, but naturally what I intended didn’t get in the way with what those pictures have now become to me. The symbol of the Great Story. The visual reminder that those moments of beauty, pain, joy, and work have a purpose in my own development, in other’s development, and in the development of that grand plot that I await to discover.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Oh Girl!

She’s bubblegum and butterflies and ruffles and kittens.
Who knew that God made such girly girls!

She gazes up at me before we go out and points at my accessories one by one. 
Then beaded necklaces go over her head and she poses coyly in front of a mirror. 
She walks like she knows that she is a doll. 
Delighting in her pink skirts in motion and the brush of her curls on her cheeks.

And she waves at strangers even if they don’t see her. 
And practices “Hello,” and “Good Morning,” 
while holding a toy car to her ear like a phone.

She requests that I acknowledge her troubles.
“Hurting,” she says and once I repeat, she goes on with her play.
And though I don't ask, she feels for my wounds too.

She mothers her doll, chants ditties while clapping.
Like a cat she sits on my books while I'm trying to read. 
And she climbs into the driver’s seat to rotate the wheel and tap the center with one tiny finger while saying, “Beep! Beep!”

She wants to sit with the grown-ups, sit in the safety of my lap. 
She melts in my arms after we’re apart. 
Resting cheek on my shoulder. Little fingers patting my back.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Comstock Inc.

Occasionally during company breakfast meetings, wild zebras will appear on the wall. Sometimes they are on the ceiling too. And sometimes the bowls of cream of wheat catch on fire and we have to spray them out with our sprayers. Sometimes there's a death. The cause is uncertain. Debris from the ceiling crashing on our heads or big thunder banging someone in the eyeball. At any rate and despite all odds, we finish our breakfast. Our insurance rates are sure to go up soon.
We've spent a lot of time at home this summer making prototypes of potentially multi-million dollar products. We've made tow-truck trains, squirter-cars, anti-tornado-police-stations, snake homes, automobile control panels, orange soups, and screw tacos. Unfortunately nothing seems to make it to production because a cracker-dial or wrecking ball or stomper or big claw smashes everything all to pieces. It's rather unlucky.

When destruction is evidently the song of the day and the furniture starts to take a beating,
we succumb to destruction's calling through team building activities such as making human sandwiches with pillows or hammering tiny animals out of ice or throwing all the laundry on the living room floor and burying each other.

If staff relations begin to implode, we invite friends over or exercise our nervous energy in regularly scheduled gymnastics. This years abilities have expanded to eagle rolls and mini-cartwheels.

Occasionally the office has to close due to road work or tree trimmers. But rather than impede all progress, this kind of mandatory maintenance feeds the creativity for tomorrows prototypes.

In fact most daily production is mimicry. Our youngest caretaker of the grounds has hired an intern of proper proportion to practice all her newly surfacing maternal tendencies, which include feeding, putting to bed, changing diapers, wrapping up, and singing lullabies. 

In general, company dynamics are at an all-time favorable high.

And the office manager has outdone herself keeping all employees well-dressed and groomed.