It is no secret that there has been little activity here this past year. It has been a year of great transition, and I have found myself in a more quiet, internal place as I find my footing in life’s new landscape. I have not always known how to speak freely here, and as anyone who knows me will attest, I struggle to speak without transparency.
But I also do not feel finished with blogging, and in this new year hope to discover what it is I have to offer and say from this green, wet land I again call home.
Tonight the house is strangely still. The kiddos were asleep hours before what normal has been these past days in a large house filled to capacity with family and friends. Doug is driving the last of our guests to the airport and the silence feels thick after the sudden departure of so much chaos and activity and noise.
Snow White is resting next to the animals inside the Playmobil Pet Clinic Mercy got for Christmas, and a hearty stash of Aaron’s Hot Wheels are nested in the couch cushion beside me. Baby Jesus safely sleeps next to a brown bear beneath the lip of the coffee table with John Goldingay’s last volume of Old Testament Theology offering him shelter. The stack of metal folding chairs borrowed for Family Feast 2009 are stacked in the doorway ready to be returned to the church building and I am simply ignoring the laundry reality of piles of sheets and towels in every room.
As I sit in tonight’s quiet, I offer this New Year’s Eve benediction:
Elijah received a cool drawing pad from his grandparents, and it is the kind where you have both magnetic shapes and a magnetic pen that “color” on the white tray and can be erased by sliding a little yellow lever along the bottom. It’s a bit like an etch-a-sketch only without the shaking. At one point yesterday, Doug came up to me and said: “Your daughter has a story to tell you.”
I came out from the bathroom where I had been changing Elijah and found Mercy on the couch with Elijah’s drawing pad on her lap. “Mercy, tell me your story”, I said sitting down beside her.
Taking the blue square, she quietly and steadily began shading in the entire right side of the tablet. Her little hand moved quickly, side to side, until everywhere she had colored was grey.
“This is death,” she said, finishing her last swipe across the board.
Putting the blue square down, she moved her hand across and reached for the yellow lever. Sliding the lever across, a line of white took over from the left, pushing every last black pixel away until the tablet had been swept clean.
“And this is what God did,” she said in a sober voice, her own eyes glistening.
Tonight I remember the loss of a friend’s wife and son two years ago, and the loss this past year of a dear member of our community here, and I cling to and celebrate the truth my daughter shared with me yesterday.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”