Tuesday, August 23, 2011


It's an expanse of endless sky, stretched and pulled blue, a particular shade that has no name except for maybe "wide open blue."   It's clean and clear and just blue, a blue that causes the fleeting thought that perhaps God Himself has eyes that color and that by glancing at the sky you have just looked Him square in the eye and lived to tell about it.  Eyes flecked by a few white clouds that for the moment are still as still can be, no movement until hot meets cold and a summer storm rolls in.  The blue runs out as the green rises up.  Tall green prairie grass, even taller corn, lacy alfalfa with tiny purple flowers.  It's all green now but when the summer rains go and the fall arrives, the green will turn to streaks of sandy brown and pale yellow and an earthy autumn gold.  The hills and flat and sky and space are oddly healing, like taking in a deep breath or letting out a really good sigh.

It's driving home on Highway 2, death still fresh and raw.  Phone rings and it's the friend who faithfully stayed on the night that would never end, wanting to bring groceries to your empty refrigerator.  It's a phone call to a neighbor who has already mowed the grass and started on the plans for the harvest that will need to be done in a few months, the corn that will demand to be picked, caring not that he who planted it is gone.  It's finishing the last few miles to the home place with tears and then spotting the dirt lane road to the house, an unfamiliar vehicle parked at the place where the asphalt ends. Questioning looks and arched eyebrows, followed by nodding heads as the church pianist emerges from her car with ham and lemonade and bread.

Into the house where the muddy brown and orange calico cat lets go of her catness and practically leaps in laps, the loneliness of the last few months evident in her actions.  Friends and neighbors and family in and out, in and out.  Garden fresh tomatoes, homemade cinnamon rolls, cakes and brownies, round loaves of golden bread, spiced apples and cucumber salad in the hands of farm wives and school secretaries.  Words that are not empty but full of sincerity.  "If you need anything, you call."  'Now there might be some times where some things around here just get done without you asking and we hope that's okay."  "You call me, even if it's 2 in the morning."  The sense that the best love is practical and purpose-filled not just flowery sentiments.

The love of God revealed by the people created by God.  Love pushed down and poured out, overflowing and spilling over.  Servant hearts that hold tiny pieces of the God Man, even if the heart itself is unaware of the steady pursuit of that God.

1 comment:

christiancari said...

Oh, sweet friend. I am barely holding it together, here at my work desk, reading your words & feeling a semblance of your pain. I appreciate your spirit, your honesty, your reflection on Scripture - even / especially at a time like this. We love you. We have been praying for you. We hold you in our hearts. Our hearts break for you right now. The missing is definitely not over. And that will be hard. But reflecting on Scripture, letting others hold you up, honestly portraying what you're thinking / feeling / etc. - these will all be a balm on the ache.