The rhythmic lap of water on sandy shore outside my window calls to me. I close my blurry eyes, hear the sqauwk of duck flying overhead and pretend I lay in bed drenched in early morning glow peeking shy underneath the window shade swinging back and forth in the breeze.
My mind travels there when life feels uncertain and answers hide. It’s a mental escape to the family cottage on a lake of glass, where generations of laughter wallpapers rooms and musty reminds me of joy.
It’s been weeks of sitting in medicinal waiting rooms next to my son like a boat adrift on glassy water reflecting incandescent sunrise. We’re waiting to knock into shore, awaken with answers.
Sometimes life forces a rest, an interruption from busyness, in order to resurrect perspective, remember who we are. Because who we are, it isn’t what we do.
I sit on white vinyl bench beside the potted tree in the pharmacy of locals, chat with the woman who asks me if I am cold, as she wraps sweater around her shoulders and compliments my hat, the one I bought for my trip to England.
The pharmacist and I, we talk about how my grandfather used to fill prescriptions behind a high counter like his; right after the man they know by name says he celebrates fifty-four years of marriage and it’s been a good ride.
Oddly, these minute conversations remind me of who I am like wiping off a mirror in a steamy bathroom to see myself.
While we wait for answers to why my son breathes shallow and arms dangle limp, I collect words from others like postcards to remember truth, in books, on blogs, on my own sites.
But in the collecting, my mind muddles in the eloquence of others and the numbers in the box labeled Feedburner. I compare my refrigerator of leftovers and lactose free milk with their rich desserts and party trays.
Shame waves her bony finger index finger of accusation over the list of things I must do. While rest, it whispers truth loud.
That Jesus doesn’t love me less if my stomach is flabby, or my hair turns gray. His love isn’t dependent on the amount of friends, followers, views and comments I get, or don’t. He doesn’t love me more if my house is tidy and I make banana bread for my kids. He doesn’t love me more if I volunteer at the school and church; love me less if I don’t. His love is steady and sure even when that of my own parents is not.
I trade those post cards to walk with Jesus. My arm looped through his, under a canopy of trees on a clear day, and beside the vast expanse of seawater, where the breeze whispers peace.
I know His voice because I walked with him when my fingers wrapped around his thumb and my doll drug the floor in the other hand. We walked arm and arm through the prayers gardens of college by day, sat cross-legged on a grassy hill above city lights at night.
And like the Ethiopian eunuch intersecting with Philip on the dusty road of busyness, Jesus shows up at just the right time to remind me of who I am in the slowing down of forced stillness. Baptizes me in the truth and puts me back on the road pointing toward home. (Acts 8:26-40)
Have you lost your way in busyness? It’s time to stop and remember who you are.
It’s time to count the Multitudes on Monday, this way in which we give thank and see differently. I give thanks for:
- a husband who tells me the truth, continually
- the lavender roses he brought home from work
- a shopping trip in preparation to celebrate our 22nd anniversary in Europe this week
- a mother in law, the nurse, who makes her way here on Tuesday, to spend May with us
- dinner with girlfriends at a new restaurant where the food made us say yum over and over again
- my son who makes me laugh every day, even when he is not feeling the best
- for the prayers of friends and family all over the world for him as we wait to understand what makes him feel so tired.
- the way we all thought about Winston around the dinner table last night, how much we still miss him.