I’m doing a new thing right now. I’m teaching classical education students analyzing stories and the bones of the Art of Organizing Writing. It’s two days a week, but I’m trying to find a rhythm. The baby, he’s getting married in two months. . . and it’s August with my 40th anniversary and my 3-score and one year birthday. It’s turning hot which makes me yearn for the snow to come. . .
These boys of mine and their girls – they have amazed me, surprised me with how they reach out to each other and to me, how they plan celebrating life with us, how careful and kind they are with each and every heart. I prayed for God to show me the right man for me to marry, and He sent me the best. I prayed for my sons’ wives, and God brought them the very best. What a good! Good Father He is.
Even in a sweet August, where Tennessee heat is turning up its burners for probably a good six weeks or more, even when the blessings elbow over the challenges, the imperfect humanity of myself stays out of the way, the challenges, and the imperfect nature of myself waits for just the right time to spring out, like a hungry lion waiting to lunge. . . it lunged and struck a momentary blow to my peace. I felt caught unaware.
It was a hot, messy moment a few days ago, and I bolted out the porch door for a walk. I was in a straw-and-camel moment. I needed time with my Father.
I turned my eyes to the sky where the setting sun looked like purple and fuchsia paint spilled across the sky. Gorgeous couldn’t even sooth my soul. I started praying The Way of the Pilgrim’s prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Over and Over and Over. As I turned a corner, putting the sunset behind me, a light streaked two driveways’ width in front of me.
Out of the north, it looked like a comet sliding in slow motion, its curved nose turning into squared angles as though it were skidding to a stop, before “pfft” extinguishing. I heard the “pfft,” as though it were a literal match or candle extinguishing. It wasn’t a far-off twinkle darting hundreds of miles away. It was one that if it had been two driveways’ north-eastward, would have bumped into a roof-top just ahead of me to the left. It extinguished just above the electric lines in the middle of my path.
I stopped. I marveled. Yes! I marveled. It was thatclose. . . with God, . . . nothing is coincidence.
Maybe God didn’t want me to lose my grace, a “Hold on Baby Girl, I got this; I got you.” Yet, the hot, messy moment didn’t quite warrant such a grand gesture. We weren’t dealing with heart-valves and nodules in a lung lobe that looked like cancer. It was a challenging moment that caught me by surprise. Unless there are things of which I’m not aware. But then, God has the plan for my story. For some reason, that star was for this moment.
Maybe it was a star thrown from the battle field, within a battle He was fighting for me, and He threw it, like a lance at my feet, ordering me, “Stop. Go no further. I’m fighting this battle for you. Go back. Be safe. Be Calm. Be Grace & Love. Be laughter. Be full of My Goodness. Don’t cross onto the battlefield where I fight for you. I am your banner. I am your shield. I am taking care of this for you.”
. . . and I walked home in peace, feeling loved, feeling protected, wondering what the battle was really over. . .
It made me think of a time over the last year or two when a preacher taught on the rapture. It wasn’t an emotional, power-driven sermon. It was a bare-bones, straight-to-the point teaching, when I thought someone leaned up behind me and said, “You’re going to love it.” When I looked to see who said it, there was nobody sitting behind me.
I’m still turning my falling-star moment over. I’m still trying to get into the rhythm of a schedule that includes my husband, the grands I help with, students learning the bones of the Art of Organizing Writing. I’ve missed reading the words of my writing friends. For a few weeks or a week, I am going to find the quiet places, the where-God-is places. . . maybe my Father will tell me just what that falling star shooting in slow-motion across my path meant. I think I need to go sit in this. . .sit with Him. . .
“And the stars of heaven shall fall,
and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
At that time they will see the Son of Man coming
in the clouds with great power and glory,
And he will send his angels
and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.…”
~ Mark 13: 26-27
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance[a] upon you and give you peace.
‘So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.’”
~ Numbers 6: 22-27