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Snagging Details

A 24-hour-day is filled with details. Wondrously vivid details that liven this otherwise dull canvas.

The luster of chocolate glaze on Lee's mini donut at pre-school. The brown sleeves of mud that could be mistaken for boots and gloves on my children's hands and feet. The downy fluff of rabbit fur pressed into my face. The sticky dampness in the bathroom that drips down the walls and mirror after I run a hot water shower for breathing treatments. The tartness of my ginger-lemon tea sprinkled with Vitamin C powder. The blistering bubbles in the paint on the door of the children's closet because we've run the humidifier for five nights in a row. The fall of a misting rain on the rooftop that sounds so much like little feet creeping out of their rooms during quiet time. The stiff resistance of the Cotija cheese against my fingers as I crumble it over pasta shells for dinner. The shrill scream of three-year-old frustration that throws off my equilibrium. The ruffled over-licked edges on the envelopes of Lee's valentines for pre-school. The curl in the receipt that I sign for Lee's dentist check-up and x-rays.

Some of those details fade away into nothingness while others snag me as they pass by.

I am ensnared like trip-wire with the sight of those beautiful chocolate donuts in front of each pre-school child. I didn't send anything half so special when it was my day to bring snacks. Am I the boring mom? Or am I the kill-joy mom because my son has half a dozen cavities, and you're giving him chocolate donuts for snack!? And just like that I am stuck with the vision of chocolate donuts dancing in my head for several hours.

Or immaterial dollar signs. Going up in flames over my worrying mind. Up goes the money for the termite repair. Up goes the money for new windshield wipers for all the family cars. Up goes the money for ordering new documents because my organizing system for hiding important papers was too successful. It all goes up in a cloud of black ash that then hangs above my head until I can no longer remember what that cloud is made of. Wait, yes I can. It's made up of worry.

Then there's the neatly-printed writing in marker at the top of my son's preschool worksheets that come home every week. "With help." "Needs practice." "Practice letter sounds." And then I am snagged again. How can this be? We're in preschool and already behind?! Does Lee notice? Does he feel stupid?

How I wish those details would fade away while the memory of the sweet things remains. Sometimes I jot down a lovely thing or something the children says so I can remember to tell Phil in the evenings. But so many more good and beautiful details are wasted on me because I am snagged by those worrisome things, which are not really worrisome at all, except that I'm in the thick of it. It's like a gauntlet of hooks and I'm wearing a baggy knitted sweater that's just waiting to be snagged by these worries. They catch me so easily.

And why? Have I not considered all the worlds Thy hands have made? Have I not seen the stars and heard the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed? Is this not the same God who is with me? Isn't the God who was with me yesterday, the same one that will take care of me today?

How quickly I look away and fall into a brier of thorns. How quickly my faith is questioned and tossed aside to dread the future. How will I make it now? How will I not ruin these little children? How will the house not fall to pieces? How will we pay for this? How will God take care of me? That's what I'm really wondering while the power that moves mountains stands beside me and in me and around me.

And says, "O you of little faith."
My life flows on in endless song; above earth's lamentation.
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I'm clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing.
Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing.
What though my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth.
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing.
All things are mine since I am his! How can I keep from singing!
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I'm clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing. 
The roof-grit in the puddles of rainwater on our breakfast porch. The PIH envelope sitting in my desk's organizer. The waterfall of slime beneath my daughter's nose. The Saucer Magnolia leaf pressed into my hands. Yes, even the rare hug and kiss from my son. All of it must be taken. Not with an encompassing fear or an adoring worship but with assurance.

We are passersby here. And the details unfolding before our eyes should never snatch us up out of the Master's arms. Rather, we may take them to him and say, "And what of this, Lord? And what of this one? What will you do with this one?" Then we will rest and see what comes next.

Then I think we shall be clothed with strength and dignity and laugh at the time to come (Pr. 31:25).


Lowry, Robert Wadsworth,  "How Can I Keep from Singing".

Boberg, Carl Gustav, "How Great Thou Art" as translated by Stuart K. Hine.

Comments

SO good! Thanks for sharing!
MommaMina said…
I got to your song and then sang it out loud, because I LOVE this song. I can see Jack Schwarz leading us in it with his upraised head and outstretched hands and my soul takes in these words and is settled while I am immersed in the words.
May you Laugh dear.
Unknown said…
I like the picture of the hooks that want to grab you and keep you from remembering Who is there to help you. Such a good post!

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